Log in

Thorn the missing piece not for long as Reds name squad

Thu, 26/08/2021, 6:31 am
Jim Tucker
by Jim Tucker
The Hurricanes ran away with the win in Wellington against the Reds in a game with plenty of controversy.

The Queensland Reds today announced a 32-man squad for 2022 but with the most important piece missing...a name for the head coach. 

No one need to get jumpy. New deals for head coach Brad Thorn and assistants Jim McKay (attack) and Michael Todd (defence) are at the advanced stage to lock in stability at the top. 

Click here to be the first to access tickets when on sale for the eToro Rugby Championship at 3pm AEST Wednesday 1 September

Thorn was only on a single-year deal for 2021 but a new multi-season contract will take him into a realm only inhabited by the late Bob Templeton and John Connolly. 

The former All Blacks hardman has been in charge of the Reds for four seasons just like title-winning Ewen McKenzie (2010-13) and the late Jim Kenny (1972-75). 

His next deal will make him that true “long-term Queensland coach” which was always the moniker for Templeton and Connolly, who both coached the state for more than a decade. 

Reds skipper Liam Wright signed a new one-season deal in July so he’s always known what the 2022 landscape would look like. 

“All indications are the whole coaching team is pretty close to putting pen to paper,” flanker Wright said. 

“We’re really excited to have them committed to us and what that means for the consistency of the whole program. They are a great team, great people and we’ve been working together in recent times to keep improving our game. 

“It’s where I want to be and a program I 100 per cent want to be part of to take on 2022.” 

Wright does have one coaching puzzle piece signed off. His Easts’ club have secured former Wallabies skipper Ben Mowen as head coach for 2022. 

Stealth attack from Tate McDermott right on half time

Twenty of the 31 Reds players retained from this season had already secured their future at Ballymore ahead of next season. 

The remaining 11 players have all recently re-signed. Wright and backrow partner Angus Scott-Young are on board for 2022. Young backline prospects Mac Grealy, Kalani Thomas, Isaac Henry, Ilaisa Droaese and Lawson Creighton have inked deals as have forwards Dane Zander, Feao Fotuaika, Richie Asiata and Seru Uru. 

The only new player in that group of 32 is Tom Lynagh, the teenaged son of Wallabies great Michael Lynagh. 

The young flyhalf, signed for 2022-23, will officially join the Reds for pre-season training in September with skills grooved at the Harlequins Academy in London. 

Ninety per cent of the initial 32-squad has come through a Queensland rugby pathway, be it the Reds Academy, Queensland Under-18s, Under-19s or Under-20s, Premier Rugby or the state’s two now-defunct National Rugby Championship teams.  

“Our pathways shine right through this squad when you have 31 of the 32 players returning for 2022 and Tom Lynagh on his way,” Wright said. 

“There’s been a reshaping of Queensland rugby over the past few years. There’ll be 10 or 11 50-gamers in the squad next season which says a lot about the way young guys are coming through.” 

READ MORE:

FIXTURES: SANZAAR confirm TRC

FLAGBEARER: Batt ready to lead Aussie Paralympians

REBEL RAID: Rebels sign Queensland duo

Three Reds players are being farewelled. 

Wallabies hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa is heading to French club Montpellier, utility back Bryce Hegarty has been signed by English club Leicester and halfback Moses Sorovi has linked with the Melbourne Rebels. 

There is still huge incentive for club rugby’s best with further signings certain from clubs involved in the semi-finals at Ashgrove on Saturday and Sunday. 

University of Queensland youngster Thomas will have an absorbing duel at halfback against former Wallaby Joe Powell in Saturday’s 3pm semi-final against Brothers. 

On Sunday, halfback James Tuttle (knee) and lock Tuaina Taii Tualima (stress fracture) are both out for GPS, who meet Wests in the second knock-out semi at Ashgrove.  

Queensland Reds Squad  Richie Asiata – Easts 

Angus Blyth – Bond University 

Jock Campbell – University of Queensland 

Lawson Creighton – Brothers 

Filipo Daugunu – Wests 

Ilaisa Droasese – Wests 

Josh Flook – Brothers 

Feao Fotuaika – Sunnybank 

Mac Grealy – University of Queensland 

Isaac Henry – Wests 

Harry Hoopert – Brothers 

Tom Lynagh – TBC 

Alex Mafi – Bond University 

Tate McDermott – University of Queensland 

Fraser McReight – Brothers 

Josh Nasser – University of Queensland 

Zane Nonngorr – Bond University 

James O'Connor – Brothers 

Hunter Paisami – Wests 

Jordan Petaia – Wests 

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – Souths 

Angus Scott-Young – University of Queensland 

Ryan Smith – Brothers 

Hamish Stewart – Brothers 

Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland 

Tuaina Taii Tualima - GPS 

Taniela Tupou – Brothers 

Seru Uru – Easts 

Suliasi Vunivalu – Wests 

Harry Wilson – Brothers 

Liam Wright – Easts 

Dane Zander – Norths 

Share
Scott Sio joins English club Exeter
Wallaroos confirm side for O'Reilly Cup opener against Black Ferns
Photo: Karen Watson
ACT Brumbies promote fullback Declan Meredith to Super Rugby Pacific squad
Fainga'a, Wallabies eager to bounce back after Argentina disappointment
Rugby.com.au Logo

The Rugby.com.au are a proud part of Rugby AU

© 2021 Australian Rugby. All rights reserved.