Rugby Union 2 years ago

Reds can win Aussie conference

  • Reds can win Aussie conference

    WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 14: Co-interim head coach Nick Stiles of the Reds looks on during the round 12 Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Reds at Westpac Stadium on May 14, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Former Wallabies prop Nick Stiles is set to be unveiled as the new coach of the Queensland Reds at a press conference on Tuesday morning.

The Reds are understood to have settled on Stiles ahead of colleague Matt O'Connor and outgoing Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder as the man to guide the team out of the Super Rugby doldrums in 2017.

Stiles and O'Connor have been interim co-coaches of the Reds since the sacking of Richard Graham two rounds into the season.

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It is the second time in the last 12 months Queensland has embarked on a "worldwide" search for a new coach, only to pick someone who was already at Ballymore.

Stiles, however, has the support of the Reds playing group and has been warmly endorsed for the job by departing great Greg Holmes and Quade Cooper, who is expected to pledge his future to the franchise as a result.

Stiles, 42, played 12 seasons for the Reds and was capped 12 times for Australia.

Before his retirement in 2005, he played alongside both of Queensland's incoming big-name recruits, Stephen Moore and George Smith, who will add much-needed experience and graft to a rebuilding squad next year.

While he has never been a head coach at the top level before, Stiles has been instrumental in the development of many promising Reds youngsters, including Taniela Tupou, Sef Faagase and Andrew Ready.

He also coached Brisbane City to back-to-back titles in the first two years of the National Rugby Championship.

The Reds finished the season in 15th place on the Super Rugby ladder with a poor 3-17 record, and will look to Stiles to guide them to their first finals campaign since 2013.

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