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Thread: Under-siege Queensland coach, Richard Graham, could take diluted role to save job

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    Under-siege Queensland coach, Richard Graham, could take diluted role to save job

    Jim Tucker
    The Courier-Mail
    May 19, 2015 7:00PM


    THE only chance for Richard Graham to stay on at the Reds next season may be to accept the slap in the face of a diluted role under John Connolly as the new coaching boss.

    A coaching-team-under-construction sign is hanging at Ballymore because one top win doesn’t change the fact a microscope is being put on the setup for next season.

    Connolly, a yet-to-be-identified coach with a backs pedigree or Graham could end up as head coach or the shock nod might even go to recently re-signed forwards coach Nick Stiles.

    There are five intriguing scenarios in all for the pecking order of coaching coalitions for next season and the under-siege Graham only stays in two of them.

    In only one does he stay on as head coach for a third season but with Connolly’s shadow over his shoulder as it was in the Reds’ coaching box for last Friday night’s much-needed victory.

    Moving Graham into the backline coaching role that Steve Meehan is vacating in June to head to French club Toulon is the other possible juggle.

    It would enable Queensland Rugby Union bosses Jim Carmichael and Rod McCall to keep a coach they have repeatedly valued for schooling the Reds’ youngest players.

    Graham and Connolly are committed to their joint venture firing for another win over the Durban-based Sharks on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium and the final three games to follow.

    Whether it is a workable long-term partnership for next season is a different question.

    Meehan’s departure means the major gap in the Reds’ coaching make-up is finding a new attack coach or a new backs-orientated head coach.

    Former Reds coach Phil Mooney, former Brumbies coach Andy Friend, Japan-based John Mulvihill and a trio of former Wallabies, Matt O’Connor, Brian Smith and Tim Lane, must all be evaluated if the QRU is conducting a serious process.

    Former Wallabies backs coach Jim McKay, an inadvertent casualty when Ewen McKenzie quit last year, would be another back-to-the-future option to reprise his Reds role of the 2011 title year.

    Former centre O’Connor is the coach with the greatest punch on that list because he’s working at the highest level with leading Irish province Leinster.

    The problem is he is two years into a three-year deal and wouldn’t be available until after next season unless some seismic shift happened.

    O’Connor, 44, led Leicester to back-to-back English premierships before he headed to Ireland.

    The Irish scene was the grooming ground for Wallabies boss Michael Cheika and highly regarded Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan so results there are solid credentials.

    Mooney is more seasoned after stints with Otago and Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights since his 2009 sacking at the Reds but has just taken the director of rugby job at Brisbane Grammar.

    Lane (Lyon) and Smith (London Irish) both applied for the NSW Waratahs coaching job after leaving European clubs this year and are looking for Super Rugby openings.

    Seasoned Karmichael Hunt talked up hurt pride among the players as a big motivator behind last Friday’s 46-29 turnaround against the Rebels as well as Connolly’s arrival.

    “He’s a grandad of the game. I say that with admiration. He’s spoken to players individually, myself included, and offered plenty of understanding about the game,” Hunt said.

    Whichever way the coaching puzzle twists, Connolly will be in the thick of it because he is signed for next year.

    THE REDS’ COACHING PUZZLE


    OPTION 1:

    Head coach: John Connolly

    Forwards coach: Nick Stiles

    Backs coach: Richard Graham

    OPTION 2:

    Head coach/backs coach: ??

    Director of rugby: John Connolly

    Forwards coach: Nick Stiles

    Gone: Richard Graham

    OPTION 3:

    Head coach: John Connolly

    Forwards coach: Nick Stiles

    Backs coach: ??

    Gone: Richard Graham

    OPTION 4:

    Head coach/forwards coach: Nick Stiles

    Director of rugby: John Connolly

    Backs coach: ??

    Gone: Richard Graham

    OPTION 5:

    Head coach: Richard Graham

    Director of rugby: John Connolly

    Forwards coach: Nick Stiles

    Backs coach: ??

    http://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/un...-1227360587440

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    What an absolute farce!

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    I have said ever since they appointed Mr Cranium, that whenever they accept the futility of persevering with him, they should give Phil Mooney another shot. He deserves that.

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    Veteran Contributor hertryk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    What an absolute farce!
    Keep the useless b*****d in Qld...couldn't pay me enough to care..

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    Richard Graham must have a hidden immunity idol

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    The ballymore faithful do not want him around as well.
    Was almost tempted to ask quade about it the other night at touch but someone else mentioned it and was shut down

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    Champion chibi's Avatar
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    Be funny if Queensland hired Link again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    Be funny if Queensland hired Link again!
    That would be the smartest thing they could do. If he'd be willing. He left on good terms on the face of it and can't be held accountable for the person he was told to hand over to. Mooney for attack coach. Wonder where Brad Thorn fits in the puzzle now.

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    Can't ....... stop ........ laughing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    Be funny if Queensland hired Link again!
    He's working in Christchurch as a town planner

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    Quote Originally Posted by jono View Post
    He's working in Christchurch as a town planner
    Isn't everyone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy View Post
    Isn't everyone?
    We all may laugh. But the reds coaches are doing better than the force coaches as at current standings!
    Not a Graham fan either!
    Foley will be in the mix, very very close to Connolly.
    Connolly - Dir
    Foley - Head
    Stiles - Fwd
    ???? - Backs (maybe Graham ) if pride intact!

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    Anyone going to feed it?

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