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Reds appoint rookies as assistants

AAP logoAAP 25/10/2016 Vince Rugari

The Queensland Reds will take a rookie coaching panel into the 2017 Super Rugby season after appointing two up-and-comers as assistants to new boss Nick Stiles.

Unheralded local duo Jason Gilmore (defence) and Shane Arnold (attack) will flank Stiles as he looks to steer an impressive new-look squad to the finals for the first time since 2013.

While lacking previous top-level exposure, the pair are well established in the Reds system and have already coached most players in the team at either junior level or in the National Rugby Championship.

That should help make for a seamless transition into the job for Stiles, the former assistant to sacked coach Richard Graham.

"Yes, they don't have Super Rugby experience. But pretty similar to how the QRU went around making my appointment, I didn't have the head coach experience but I had 11 years of coaching behind me and had been able to show some results along the way," Stiles told reporters on Wednesday.

"You don't want to refer to New Zealand all the time but they put a system in place years ago about making sure the best young coaches were given opportunities through their Super Rugby programs and they were developed along the way.

"It's exactly what's happened with these two.

"Those relationships they have, the respect they have amongst the playing group already was very important."

Gilmore has worked his way through the state's coaching pathway since 2001, steering Queensland Country in the NRC last year and the Reds under-20s side this year.

Arnold was at the helm of Brisbane club GPS when star centre Samu Kerevi began breaking through in 2012 and also served as an assistant to Stiles in his old role with Brisbane City.

"He's actually one of the first coaches to drop me and it's something that really gets to me sometimes," Kerevi said.

"At that time he was real honest with me about improving my game and I've been going to him for advice since I joined the Reds."

Gilmore has been instrumental in the development of exciting Reds prospect Izaia Perese, who is tipped to join the Wallabies on their European tour as a development player, while he's also worked extensively with returning five-eighth Quade Cooper.

The promotions mean former dual-code international Brad Thorn will become the Reds' under-20s head coach while continuing as contact coach for the Super Rugby team.

National skills coach Mick Byrne will also have regular involvement and input with the new Reds hierarchy.

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