Reds coach Brad Thorn has dismissed suggestions that a rocky relationship with Izack Rodda contributed to the lock's departure from the club.
Speaking publicly for the first time since news that Rodda, Harry Hockings and Isaac Lucas were released from their contracts after refusing to salary cuts, Thorn told Triple M Brisbane that he and Rodda still shared a strong relationship.
There had been reports that Thorn and Rodda had fallen out after Thorn overlooked Rodda for the captaincy and the 25-Test lock was hoping for a move to another Australian Super Rugby franchise.
"I spoke to Izack, he came round to my house on Saturday and it’s been hard for me because for three, four weeks I’ve seen that in the media, it’s (our relationship) is irreparable, we don’t get on, blah blah blah," he said.
"I’ve never had a problem with Izack, we’ve never had an argument.
"He came around to my house and just wanted to make it clear that stuff that was out there is not how he feels. For me to have heard things, it’s frustrating that stuff’s out there and your name’s there all of a sudden."
Thorn said he had tried to discourage the trio from walking away before things came to a head last week.
"I approached them and I approached Izack last week and obviously we met at my place," he said.
"I was like, 'I don’t want you to go, what’s doing? Don’t do this, we care about you, you’re part of this thing and we want you to do this stuff, this isn’t the right way of doing stuff”.
"I know others spoke to them as well."
Thorn said his focus was now on preparing the remainder of his squad for a looming Australian Super Rugby competition.
"They’re young 21,22 and they’ve got to make their decisions and that's what they’ve done and my role here is I’m the coach here I’ve got 30 odd 40 odd men here, got to keep working on them, improving their rugby, love and represent the state and just ripping into this competition that’s coming up."