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Queensland Reds Coach Gets The Boot

The Queensland Reds sacked Richard Graham, patience with the underperforming coach finally running out after the 2011 Super Rugby champions opened the new season with successive defeats. The 43-year-old will
09 Mar 2016 11:23
Queensland Reds Coach Gets The Boot

The Queensland Reds sacked Richard Graham, patience with the underperforming coach finally running out after the 2011 Super Rugby champions opened the new season with successive defeats.

The 43-year-old will be replaced on an interim basis by assistant coaches Matt O’Connor and Nick Stiles after accumulating just nine wins in his 34 matches in charge over three seasons.

The final straw came when the Reds, having gone down 30-10 to the New South Wales Waratahs in their season-opener, lost 22-6 to Western Force in front of 17,535 fans at Lang Park on Saturday.

“I’m naturally disappointed,” Graham said in a news release.

“I loved my role with the Reds. I am in a high-performance environment and the results haven’t been to a satisfactory standard. I have to accept that and move on.”

The Reds said they would commence a “worldwide process” to find a head coach for the 2017 season and both O’Connor and Stiles would be invited to apply.

Attack coach O’Connor, 45, helped Leicester to the English Premiership title in 2013 and coached Irish province Leinster to the Pro-12 crown in 2013-14 before being sacked the following season.

Stiles is a former Wallabies prop who has led Brisbane City to the National Rugby Championship title in the first two seasons of the competition.

The 42-year-old was in charge of the forwards under Graham, the only part of the side which has functioned well over the last two lamentable seasons.

Graham, who arrived at the Reds from the Force to work under Ewen McKenzie in 2012, had to re-apply for his job at the end of last season and there was widespread shock when he was successful.

The writing was on the wall for the former Queensland fullback, however, when his main advocate on the board, chairman Rod McCall, stepped down for personal reasons last month.

– Reuters

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