It will be a Red Hill reunion at Ballymore next season with Peter Ryan joining his former rugby league teammate Brad Thorn on the Queensland Reds coaching staff.
Thorn has pinched Ryan from the Brumbies to be the Reds’ defensive coach alongside returning attack coach Jim McKay in a coup for the rebuilding Super Rugby club.
The pair played together at the Brisbane Broncos and are two of just four men to win NRL and Super Rugby titles.
Backrower Ryan won four premierships with the Broncos in an 11-season stint and represented Queensland five times before a code hop resulted in a Super Rugby title with the ACT Brumbies.
The tough-as-nails tackler then took those skills into the coaching arena, working with both the Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys over eight seasons before becoming the Brumbies’ defensive coach in 2015.
Ryan had recently been assisting the Broncos on a casual basis but will now begin work with a young Reds squad on a two-year deal.
“Brad and I have worked together on and off the field for many years and his role at the Reds played a big part in my decision to come to Ballymore,” Ryan said.
“We have very similar views on rugby and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in with this group of Queenslanders.”
Thorn has prioritised defence and discipline since taking the job last season and guiding the inconsistent side to 13th amid a constant string of controversies.
Captain James Slipper was forced to sign with the Brumbies after his suspension for a positive drug test, while out-of-favour pair Karmichael Hunt and Quade Cooper played out their seasons at club level.
“He’s a great guy, a Queenslander and his work in defence is an area I’m really passionate about,” Thorn said.
“He was a tough operator as a player and I know he’ll bring that attitude and hard edge.”
The addition of McKay and Ryan, as well as the arrival of former Rebels and Munster coach and Wallabies assistant Tony McGahan as head of the Reds Academy, has surrounded Thorn with experience.
Former Reds assistant and Wallabies winger Paul Carozza will remain at Ballymore as the head of talent management for the Reds Academy.