Long time readers of NZ Rugby World will know that we love Brad Thorn. We have the deepest respect for him and his promotion to the head coaching role will strengthen the Reds. But he’s the only significant arrival and having made his mind up to chop Quade Cooper, the Reds look even weaker than they were last year.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TACTICALLY?
We can’t say if Thorn is any kind of tactical visionary. He was a hard working lock as a player so...well...you know those guys had their head down and bum up.
What we do believe is that he will be clear, concise and consistent. He’ll make sure the set piece functions and the driving maul works but other than that, we are guessing. Which makes the Reds interesting...kind of.
GUT FEEL – RISERS OR FALLERS?
These guys may be about the same as they were last year but we reckon the Rebels and Waratahs will be much improved which will see the Reds struggle more.
Hard to see what will make them a better side.
WHERE WILL THEY FINISH?
We tipped them as big risers last year. Actually went a bit overboard looking back. To balance the ledger, we don’t think they will be much different this year – a weak side with limited potential who scrap for the minor place.