Reds draw on ARU for long-term success

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Reds will be leaning on the ARU as they work to ensure Nick Stiles is a success as head coach.

The appointment of Stiles to the Reds coaching job for 2017 and 2018, was made in consultation with the ARU and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika endorsed the move.

Stiles has not been a head coach at Super Rugby level before, though has seen the perils up close having worked under Richard Graham in some lean years for the Reds.

The former Reds forwards coach has seen success as a coach, though, steering Brisbane City to consecutive NRC premierships.

Cheika said Stiles had served his apprenticeship and the ARU had a role to play in ensuring his transition in a head coaching role was successful.

“He's confident he's coached a team as a head coach before that's at the semi-professional level and he's been an assistant at the professional level for many years and I think it's the natural step forward,” he said.

“I think it's up to us also to invest in him so that - not to tell him how to play or anything because he knows that -  but just to give him the support where he needs it to make his program the best it can be."

Nick Stiles will have ARU support. Photo: QRU MediaReds general manager Daniel Herbert said they would be working closely with the national setup, with Cheika playing somewhat of a mentoring role to Stiles.

“I was very keen for our coaches to have access to Michael because he is a very good coach,” he said.

“Talking to him, once it was clear that we were going to go the way we did, I asked him if he would support Nick in a mentorship and pleasingly he was up for however we’d like to approach that.”

Stiles has plenty of support but he’s certainly not lacking in confidence ahead of making a big step up.

“At the end of the day, the head coach is the one that makes the decisions and ticks off on things,” he said.

“You look back on the areas I’ve been involved in now through the last six years at Super Rugby, I’ve been successful.

“I’ve driven a culture within the team around the forward pack in particular, of achieving results and now I’ll get the opportunity to take that forward and drive the team standards and the team results.

“You look at the NRC, that was a fantastic tool for me to step up and be the man in charge and in that process you got to test things out.

“I was very proud of what we achieved in the NRC and now I get the chance to take that to Super Rugby level

The Reds will also have a handy Ballymore-based hand in Mick Byrne, the national skills coach.

Mick Byrne had a major influence on Dan Carter. Photo: Getty imagesByrne will be travelling plenty, helping players from Wallabies down to age grade players, but Stiles said he would be a helpful presence in Queensland.

“We had a good chat in the stands here watching the Wallabies train and from that it was really pleasing to talk to him and discover we’ve got very similar passions around that individual skills focus.

“And having that on board and based here at Ballymore is going to be a great asset to have.”

The biggest endorsement of all comes from incumbent captain James Slipper, who has borne the brunt of some difficult losses, just pleased for some stability at the helm of the club.

“It's great now that we can move into 2017 with a lot of stability from the top all the way down to the bottom,” he said.

“We got the new CEO, new chairman, then now Stilesy the new coach.

“Being a part of the playing group, we're pretty excited to move into 2017 with a clear direction and work hard and put in an effort.”