Former All Black Brad Thorn, now head coach of the Queensland Reds, has already begun implementing his old school, no-nonsense mantra onto his squad this season.
The dismissal of the unpredictable and often counter-productive Quade Cooper was a bold move in order to implement a blue collar, hardworking culture within the Queensland Reds.
Only time will tell if his absence from the training squad will produce results on the field, however Thorn has continued with his tough but fair approach in squad management when it comes to his team’s pre-season preparations.
Rather than togging out in the latest training gear, running laps and hitting bags, Thorn packed his squad of 39 players onto a bus and shipped them to Enoggera Army Barracks for a three-day boot camp with the Royal Australian Regiment.
According to Rugby.com.au reporter Sam Phillips, ‘team building drills, sleep deprivation and food deprivation were the key themes of the three-day camp’.
One of the Reds’ new appointments to the coaching structure is strength and conditioning coach Daniel Cooper who spent 17 years in the SAS (Special Air Services) as a special forces operator and high performance coach.
Lieutenant Jarrad Dekuyer led the camp and explained what kind of challenges the players face to the Courier Mail.
“It was an infantry-themed resilience activity to test their physical and mental toughness and take the players out of their comfort zone so they were required to look after each other.”
Thorn experienced these camps before, during his time in rugby league under Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett.
From his time as a player it makes sense that the former All Black enforcer would be a fan of these camps.