World's toughest gig awaits Thorn: Wilson

Laine Clark
AAP
Brad Thorn might just be stepping into one of the hardest jobs in world rugby, coaching the Reds.

The most challenging job in world rugby awaits rookie Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn, former All Black Jeff Wilson has warned.

Wilson backed fellow ex-All Black Thorn's legendary work ethic to hold him in good stead after being handed the Reds reins for the 2018 Super Rugby season, capping a meteoric coaching rise.

The Reds dumped Nick Stiles after one season and appointed Thorn, despite him only cutting his teeth as a head coach this year with the undefeated Queensland Under-20s plus National Rugby Championship outfit Queensland Country.

"I honestly believe Super Rugby is the most challenging job for a coach in world rugby," Wilson said.

"It is not an easy place to walk in and try and learn your trade.

"It won't be easy for him but get the right people behind him, supporting him and I think that will go a long way to having some success."

Thorn is the third Reds head coach since Ewen McKenzie last led Queensland to the finals back in 2013.

Wilson said appointing former Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan as Reds assistant to the dual code, dual country international was a masterstroke.

"I think that is fantastic. You have got a guy who has got Super Rugby experience, so he will be able to ask the questions that Brad needs to hear, because it is a huge responsibility," he said.

"But I think it is exciting. If you do more of the same that is what you are going to get, you have to try something different and they have done that."

As a player, Thorn's workaholic attitude helped him win a Rugby World Cup, Super Rugby and Heineken Cup titles as well as three NRL premierships plus Queensland State of Origin and Australian Test success in rugby league.

As a coach, Wilson didn't expect Thorn to change much.

"They (Reds) better be trying because if they aren't they will hear about it," Wilson said.

"There was no harder worker in the game in New Zealand than Brad when he was there.

"He played height-wise as an undersized lock but his work ethic and presence on the field was never underestimated by any team he was a part of."