Connolly answers SOS call from struggling Reds

Former Reds and Wallabies coach John Connolly will join the Queensland Reds coaching staff as a consultant this Monday, in advance of their home game against the Rebels.

He will be contracted to the Reds for the remainder of the 2015 Super Rugby season and for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Connolly has almost 20 years of experience coaching at the elite level and was Head Coach of the Reds during a golden era from 1989 to 2000, during which time they won Super Six (1992) and Super 10 (1994, 1995) titles.

He also coached in Europe for six years, winning a premiership with Stade Francais and earning European Coach of the Year honours with Bath. He then led the Wallabies in 2006 and 2007, including at the Rugby World Cup in France.

His first function will be to primarily work with and mentor Reds Head Coach Richard Graham, the wider Reds coaching and high performance staff and the playing group for the remainder of the 2015 season.

Queensland Rugby CEO Jim Carmichael said: “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.

“For some time we have been conducting an extensive review of our high performance area to ensure our structures and systems deliver the expected outcomes. Through this process 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. Meanwhile other important appointments in support of the coaching staff will be announced in the coming weeks.”

Queensland Rugby Chairman Rod McCall said: “John is a very proud Queenslander and is in a position to, and wants to help. He has achieved outstanding success at many levels as a coach and the wealth of experience he brings, coupled with his insatiable desire to win can only be a positive for the Reds as we seek to unlock the massive potential we know this team possesses.”

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