JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Steady as she goes for new Reds coach

Incoming Queensland Reds coach Richard Graham.

Incoming Queensland Reds coach Richard Graham. Photo: Getty Images

Don't rock the boat. Don't be a shrinking violet either. Richard Graham will walk a delicate line while he ingratiates himself into a winning program at the Queensland Reds as the franchise slowly edges itself towards the post-Ewen McKenzie era.

Graham, the former Force coach, has officially started his duties as head coach at Ballymore, where he will operate under the guidance of coaching director McKenzie, the man at the wheel as the Reds went from making up the numbers to Super Rugby champions in the space of two years.

McKenzie will remain firmly in charge next season and Graham insists the chain of command is crystal clear. His duties will increase substantially in 2014 as McKenzie becomes Queensland's director of rugby, which will involve a step back from the hands-on running of the elite side.

Richard Graham inherits a Reds team accustomed to success.

Richard Graham inherits a Reds team accustomed to success. Photo: Getty Images

There could easily be another scenario. McKenzie is standout to be offered the Wallaby job should the ARU lose patience with or fail to re-appoint Robbie Deans, in which case Graham would be fast-tracked to the top at the Reds while McKenzie departs.

In any case, Graham inherits a smooth-running rugby machine preparing itself for inevitable change. The Reds won a title in 2011, made the finals last season and lost only one player (Scott Higginbotham - Rebels) from its top squad.

The landing could scarcely be any softer and Graham is taking a gently-gently approach as he gets his head around the inner-workings of Queensland Rugby. He won't making 'change for the sake of change' but is also eager to introduce his ideas and philosophies to the Reds system.

"Queensland are in a really fortunate position to transition when they want to transition. It's a good opportunity over this 12-month period to learn, to continue getting better, to understand Queensland Rugby from top to bottom and hopefully take the organisation forward," Graham said.

"I think it's important to understand that they've been successful for a reason. If you don't need to make change for the sake of change, why do it?

"But the big thing is you've got to trust your ability and the reason you've been brought into the organisation. And behind closed doors, I'll be challenging the group with ideas from my own experiences and philosophies on the game."

The mechanics of the European-style scaffolding now in place at Ballymore has confused some fans but Graham said there was no grey areas as he begins to take stock for the pre-season.

With Matt Taylor leaving, he will take charge of the defence, while Jim McKay oversees the attack and McKenzie shapes overall strategy and continues his work in player recruitment and retention, an area of the Reds that has seen some of the most dramatic improvement.

"I've always been really clear on my role here. I understand it more than most because one, I had all of the discussions and secondly, I've seen the model up close," Graham said.

"You're always accountable to someone. Ewen is my boss and I answer directly to him. I'll work hard on the rugby program and I've started on that in planning of the pre-season.

"In terms of of coaching structure, I've always known where we're going to end up with in terms of numbers and the approach Ewen has taken. That's a collaboration of the staff and I'm very comfortable with it."

Graham was sacked mid-season by the Force after it was revealed he would return to Queensland for the 2013 campaign. The 40-year-old was born in Charleville and played for the Reds from 1998-2002, as well as beginning his career in the local club system.

Graham watched from the other side of the country as the Reds revived themselves and said he was impressed with the faith placed in youth and innovative play. The same factors he envied as a rival coach are now part of his playbook.

With average crowds (34,217) now surpassing the Brisbane Broncos and membership soaring (32,640 in 2012), Graham will be tasked with not only keeping the Reds in the finals but helping to keep that off-field momentum steaming along.

Winning has been the core ingredient but the overall result has been forged with a demanding regime of appearances and community work for coaches and players, as well as an open media policy which has helped sell the Reds back to a city that in 2009 was starting to forget they even existed.

"I don't feel pressure in that sense. People see the Reds as very generous in giving you their time. Nothing, within reason, has been too much. Ewen has done a really good job at the high end of the market and the players and the organisation across all levels," Graham said.

"That was something I worked hard to establish in Western Australia. That's something that Ewen and I share. We'll work very hard to make sure we double our efforts across the community."

It's not all good news for Graham as he settles into life at the Reds. Star halfback Will Genia will miss the start of the 2013 season after a knee injury, while Quade Cooper's continued knee concerns continued to cloud his comeback.

The plus side could be that Genia, Cooper and captain James Horwill are all around for the pre-season, a luxury rarely afforded to Queensland given the usual heavy Wallaby commitments of that trio.

1 comment

  • "With average crowds (34,217) now surpassing the Brisbane Broncos"
    It's a shame they don't get the same level of support on television, watch the news and you'd think Bronco's crowds would be 10x Reds crowds judging by the level of coverage.

    Commenter
    MJ
    Date and time
    September 20, 2012, 9:19AM
    Comments are now closed

    HuffPost Australia

    Super Rugby 2016

    Round 1
    Fri, 26 FebTimes shown AEDT
    BLU 0vs HIG 0 17:35EP
    BRU 0vs HUR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
    CHT 0vs Jagu 0 04:00FSS
    Sunw 0vs LIO 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
    CRU 0vs CHF 0 17:35AMI
    WAR 0vs RED 0 19:40AS
    FOR 0vs REB 0 21:50nib Stadium
    Sun, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
    King 0vs SHA 0 00:00NMBS
    STO 0vs BUL 0 02:05DHL Newlands
    View All Fixtures
    Round 2
    Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CRU 0vs BLU 0 17:35AMI
    BRU 0vs WAR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CHF 0vs LIO 0 15:15FMG Stadium Waikato
    HIG 0vs HUR 0 17:35FBS
    RED 0vs FOR 0 19:40SS
    Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BUL 0vs REB 0 00:00Loftu
    CHT 0vs STO 0 02:05FSS
    SHA 0vs Jagu 0 04:10GpKP
    View All Fixtures
    Round 3
    Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BLU 0vs HUR 0 17:35EP
    FOR 0vs BRU 0 22:05nib Stadium
    Sat, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
    HIG 0vs LIO 0 17:35FBS
    REB 0vs RED 0 19:40AAMI
    Sunw 0vs CHT 0 21:50Singapore National Stadium
    Sun, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
    King 0vs CHF 0 00:00NMBS
    STO 0vs SHA 0 02:05DHL Newlands
    View All Fixtures
    Round 4
    Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
    HUR 0vs FOR 0 17:35Central Energy Trust Arena
    WAR 0vs HIG 0 19:40AS
    Sat, 19 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BUL 0vs SHA 0 04:00Loftu
    Sunw 0vs REB 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
    CRU 0vs King 0 17:35AMI
    RED 0vs BLU 0 19:40SS
    Sun, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
    LIO 0vs CHT 0 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
    STO 0vs BRU 0 04:10DHL Newlands
    Jagu 0vs CHF 0 09:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
    View All Fixtures
    Round 5
    Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
    HUR 0vs King 0 17:35WS
    Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CHF 0vs FOR 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
    REB 0vs HIG 0 19:40AAMI
    Sunw 0vs BUL 0 21:50Singapore National Stadium
    Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CHT 0vs BRU 0 00:00FSS
    SHA 0vs CRU 0 02:05GpKP
    Jagu 0vs STO 0 09:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
    RED 0vs WAR 0 16:05SS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 6
    Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
    HIG 0vs FOR 0 17:35FBS
    Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
    LIO 0vs CRU 0 04:00Emirates Airlines Park
    BLU 0vs Jagu 0 17:35QBE Stadium
    BRU 0vs CHF 0 19:40GIO Stadium
    Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
    King 0vs Sunw 0 02:05NMBS
    BUL 0vs CHT 0 03:10Loftu
    WAR 0vs REB 0 16:05AS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 7
    Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
    CHF 0vs BLU 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
    FOR 0vs CRU 0 21:00nib Stadium
    Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
    STO 0vs Sunw 0 03:00DHL Newlands
    HUR 0vs Jagu 0 17:35WS
    RED 0vs HIG 0 19:40SS
    Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
    SHA 0vs LIO 0 01:05GpKP
    King 0vs BUL 0 03:10NMBS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 8
    Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
    CRU 0vs Jagu 0 17:35AMI
    REB 0vs HUR 0 19:40AAMI
    Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
    CHT 0vs Sunw 0 03:00FSS
    BLU 0vs SHA 0 17:35EP
    WAR 0vs BRU 0 19:40AS
    Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
    BUL 0vs RED 0 01:05Loftu
    LIO 0vs STO 0 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
    View All Fixtures
    Round 9
    Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
    HIG 0vs SHA 0 17:35FBS
    REB 0vs CHT 0 19:40AAMI
    Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
    Sunw 0vs Jagu 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
    HUR 0vs CHF 0 17:35WS
    FOR 0vs WAR 0 19:40nib Stadium
    STO 0vs RED 0 23:00DHL Newlands
    Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
    King 0vs LIO 0 01:05NMBS
    BRU 0vs CRU 0 16:05GIO Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 10
    Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
    CHF 0vs SHA 0 17:35Yarro
    FOR 0vs BUL 0 21:05nib Stadium
    Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
    HIG 0vs BRU 0 15:15Rugby Park
    BLU 0vs REB 0 17:35EP
    RED 0vs CHT 0 19:40SS
    Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
    LIO 0vs HUR 0 01:05Emirates Airlines Park
    STO 0vs WAR 0 03:10DHL Newlands
    Jagu 0vs King 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
    View All Fixtures
    Round 11
    Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
    CRU 0vs RED 0 17:35AMI
    BRU 0vs BUL 0 19:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
    Sunw 0vs FOR 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
    CHF 0vs HIG 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
    WAR 0vs CHT 0 19:40AS
    SHA 0vs HUR 0 23:00GpKP
    Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
    King 0vs BLU 0 01:05NMBS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 12
    Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
    HIG 0vs CRU 0 17:35FBS
    REB 0vs BRU 0 19:40AAMI
    Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
    HUR 0vs RED 0 17:35WS
    WAR 0vs BUL 0 19:40AS
    Sunw 0vs STO 0 21:45Singapore National Stadium
    Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
    CHT 0vs King 0 01:05FSS
    LIO 0vs BLU 0 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
    Jagu 0vs SHA 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
    View All Fixtures
    Round 13
    Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
    CRU 0vs WAR 0 17:35AMI
    Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
    RED 0vs Sunw 0 15:05SS
    CHF 0vs REB 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
    FOR 0vs BLU 0 19:40nib Stadium
    LIO 0vs Jagu 0 23:00Emirates Airlines Park
    Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
    SHA 0vs King 0 01:05GpKP
    BUL 0vs STO 0 03:10Loftu
    View All Fixtures
    Round 14
    Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
    HUR 0vs HIG 0 17:35WS
    WAR 0vs CHF 0 19:40AS
    Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
    King 0vs Jagu 0 03:00NMBS
    BLU 0vs CRU 0 17:35EP
    BRU 0vs Sunw 0 19:40GIO Stadium
    STO 0vs CHT 0 23:00DHL Newlands
    Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
    BUL 0vs LIO 0 01:05Loftu
    REB 0vs FOR 0 16:05AAMI
    View All Fixtures
    Round 15
    Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
    CHF 0vs CRU 0 17:35ANZ National Stadium, Suva
    BRU 0vs RED 0 19:40GIO Stadium
    Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
    Sunw 0vs WAR 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
    HUR 0vs BLU 0 17:35WS
    REB 0vs STO 0 19:40AAMI
    CHT 0vs FOR 0 23:00FSS
    Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
    LIO 0vs SHA 0 01:05Emirates Airlines Park
    King 0vs HIG 0 03:10NMBS
    Jagu 0vs BUL 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
    View All Fixtures
    Round 16
    Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
    BLU 0vs BRU 0 17:35EP
    RED 0vs CHF 0 19:40SS
    Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
    LIO 0vs King 0 03:00Emirates Airlines Park
    CRU 0vs REB 0 17:35AMI
    WAR 0vs HUR 0 19:40AS
    FOR 0vs STO 0 21:45nib Stadium
    Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
    BUL 0vs Sunw 0 01:05Loftu
    SHA 0vs CHT 0 03:10GpKP
    Jagu 0vs HIG 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
    View All Fixtures
    Round 17
    Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
    BLU 0vs WAR 0 17:35EP
    RED 0vs REB 0 19:40SS
    Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
    SHA 0vs Sunw 0 03:00GpKP
    CRU 0vs HUR 0 15:15AMI
    HIG 0vs CHF 0 17:35FBS
    BRU 0vs FOR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
    Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
    STO 0vs King 0 01:05DHL Newlands
    CHT 0vs BUL 0 03:10FSS
    Jagu 0vs LIO 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
    View All Fixtures
    Round 18
    Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
    TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
    TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
    Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
    TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
    TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
    View All Fixtures
    Super Rugby Semi Finals
    Fri, 29 JulTimes shown AEST
    TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
    Sat, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
    TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
    View All Fixtures
    Super Rugby Grand Final
    Sat, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
    TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
    View All Fixtures
    Super Rugby 2016
    Overall standings
    Team P W L D +/- Pts
    Blues 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0 0
    View all
    Super Rugby 2016
    Overall standings
    Team P W L D +/- Pts
    Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Force 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Rebels 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Reds 0 0 0 0 0 0
    View all
     

    Follow Us on Facebook

    Featured advertisers