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22 Mar 2018 23:05
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby

    Thorn setting benchmark for Reds' Rodda

    Famed for his work ethic and physicality, Queensland Reds coach and former New Zealand second rower Brad Thorn is proving the perfect mentor for Izack Rodda.

    Being out-lifted in the gym by your coach is never a good sign, unless that coach is Brad Thorn.

    That's the situation Queensland Reds second rower Izack Rodda finds himself in but one he says is only helping his quest to win back a Wallabies spot.

    Back from a shoulder injury that stalled his fledgling international career, Rodda hopes to wear the green and gold when Australia host Ireland in Brisbane on June 9.

    Rodda plays in the same position Thorn made his own in a famed All Blacks career built on a tremendous work ethic.

    He's brought that experience into his rookie coaching season, leading from the front in gym sessions with the team and providing extra insight to his newest protege.

    "It's a bit funny when you go in there and see him squatting 190 kilograms and you've got 100 on the bar and you're like, 'Oh sweet, I've got a bit of a way to go'," Rodda laughed.

    "It's that raw power but there are smarts around it too ... he was a very diligent footballer and we're doing lots of little drills to help with scrum and lifting techniques.

    "Having a second-rower as a coach, to get all those extra things, is unreal."

    Rodda established himself in the Wallabies' second row in just four Tests last year before shoulder surgery caused him to miss a home Bledisloe Cup victory and ensuing spring tour.

    He donned Wallaby gold at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday to promote the first-ever three-Test series on Australian soil against the current Six Nations leaders.

    The Lismore product was happy to show off his moves alongside a quartet of Irish dancers on the same turf the Reds ground out an 18-10 win against the Brumbies last Friday.

    Queensland hosts South Africa's Bulls on Saturday, with Rodda expecting another tough scrap.

    "They're a massive team, they just run hard and if you go high (in a tackle) they're going to make you pay," said Rodda, who's calling the Reds' lineout plays this season.

    "If you don't step up to the physicality they bring they'll just dominate you. "


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