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Unfinished business: Reds’ Thorn coup revealed

Brad Thorn is on verge of signing a new coaching deal with the Queensland Reds.Thorn returned to the Reds’ Ballymore headquarters on Tuesday, having served a two-week isolation period after travelling to Canberra last month for the Super Rugby AU final.While Queensland lost the decider 28-23 to the Brumbies, Thorn’s work in turning around the…

Brad Thorn is on verge of signing a new coaching deal with the Queensland Reds.

Thorn returned to the Reds’ Ballymore headquarters on Tuesday, having served a two-week isolation period after travelling to Canberra last month for the Super Rugby AU final.

While Queensland lost the decider 28-23 to the Brumbies, Thorn’s work in turning around the Reds’ fortunes has secured him a new contract.

An announcement is expected later this month as the All Blacks great gets to work on planning Queensland’s 2021 campaign.

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In an open letter to Reds’ fans last month, Thorn wrote: “This year we’ve reconnected with the state and feel you believe and trust in us again.

“What you’ve seen this year is only the beginning and we can’t wait to make you proud in 2021. We are Queensland, and we are looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

A decision is yet to be made on next year’s make-up of Super Rugby following this year’s decision to have separate Australian and New Zealand competitions.

Dual international Thorn has previously indicated his preference for a combined competition to ensure the Reds are playing at the highest club standard possible.

Meanwhile, the Reds are searching for a new front-of-jersey sponsor after St George Bank’s decision to change their partnership agreement with the Queensland Rugby Union.

The partnership has been renewed for a fifth term and for three more years, but the St George Bank logo will move to the Reds’ jersey sleeve.

The bank’s sponsorship will also fund stronger grassroots initiatives with local clubs, diversity and inclusion across the code, and the Modified Rugby Program, which allows children with autism, Asperger’s and learning and perceptual difficulties to play competitive rugby.

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The Reds are understood to be in discussions with three major companies interested in becoming the Reds’ naming rights sponsor.

“(It’s) an opportunity for another corporate partner to become the Reds’ first new naming rights partner in more than a decade and join a strong family of sponsors that includes St.George, Santos, Rio Tinto and other corporate partners that continue to support rugby at all levels across the state,” QRU CEO David Hanham said.

“The successful corporate candidate will be only our fourth principal naming rights partner in over 30 years.”

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