Desperate Reds call on Connolly

    2015-05-09 09:05

    Sydney - The Reds have brought former Wallabies coach John Connolly on board as a consultant for the remainder of the Super Rugby season after they slumped to a ninth defeat in 11 matches on Friday.

    Richard Graham will remain as coach despite a second successive season of failure with the 2011 Super Rugby champions, which was underlined by the humiliating eight-try, 58-17 loss to the Crusaders on Friday.

    "The last two seasons' results have been very disappointing for the team and for all of our fans. It is also simply unacceptable to the organisation," Queensland Rugby Chief Executive Jim Carmichael said in a news release.

    "We have identified areas that require strengthening to provide our team and coaching staff with the appropriate support moving forward.

    "John's appointment provides an important layer of that support and will also offer further valuable insights to our ongoing review due for completion at the end of the current season."

    Connolly led Queensland to great success during more than a decade as coach initially of the province and then of the Reds in the early years of Super Rugby.

    The 63-year-old then enjoyed further success at Stade Francais in France and Bath in England before returning to take over as Australia coach in 2006, leading the Wallabies to the 2007 World Cup.

    Graham worked as an assistant coach under Connolly at Bath.

    Despite a poor record in his first head coaching job at the Perth-based Western Force, Graham was selected to follow Ewen McKenzie at the Reds in a succession plan hatched in April 2012.

    The Reds won five of 16 matches to finish third bottom of the Super Rugby standings in his first season in charge last year and this campaign, despite a couple of high profile signings, are second bottom.

    "John is a very proud Queenslander and is in a position to, and wants to, help," said Queensland Rugby chairperson Rod McCall.

    "He has achieved outstanding success at many levels as a coach and the wealth of experience he brings... can only be a positive for the Reds as we seek to unlock the massive potential we know this team possesses."

    Read More On:  reds super 15 rugby

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