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May 6 2021 | Mike Colman

May 6 2021 | Mike Colman

6/05/2021

I reckon we will be watching a future Wallaby coach in action at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night...

Brad Thorn is regarded as the most successful cross-code rugby player in the game’s history, and he is on track to go all the way as a coach as well.

I know there are plenty of local rugby pundits who believe that the influx of Kiwi coaches into the Australian game has had a negative effect on the code here. One former Wallaby coach has been particularly vocal in his opposition to the New Zealand influence on our up-and-coming players, but I can’t help thinking that even he would make an exception in Thorn’s case.

For starters, much of the future All Blacks’ formative years were spent growing up in Brisbane. Admittedly his early football education was in rugby league, not union, but his trophy-winning success for the Broncos, Maroons and Kangaroos held him in good stead when he honoured a promise to his late father and switched to rugby union.

Thorn had an equally remarkable rugby journey, becoming the first player to win a World Cup, Super Rugby title and European championship before turning to coaching with the Reds. A National Rugby Championship title with Queensland Country plus back-to-back Super Rugby AU finals would surely convince even the most ardent anti-Kiwis that Thorn has plenty to offer as a coach.

Certainly, his young Reds have responded to his tough-love approach and will be determined to hand him yet another title when they seek redemption against the reigning-champion Brumbies on Saturday night.

I reckon, boosted by a 40,000-plus Suncorp Stadium crowd, they’ll be hoisting the trophy at fulltime – just as Brad Thorn will be slipping his arms into a Wallaby blazer before too long.

What do YOU reckon?


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