Reds coach Ewen McKenzie.
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie. John Mccutcheon

'It's all about the Reds'

EWEN McKenzie formed a formidable front row alongside Tony Daly and Phil Kearns during his playing career with the Wallabies.

Now the 46-year-old is hoping to form a formidable coaching partnership with Richard Graham at the Queensland Reds.

Western Force coach Graham, who announced yesterday that he was coming home to Queensland, will take over as Reds coach next year while McKenzie will move into a director of coaching role.

It's a move McKenzie said was all about putting a plan in place for a bright future at the Reds and not preparing a path for him to take over as Wallabies coach after Robbie Deans contract runs out at the end of next year.

"You can speculate all you like. This is solely about trying to put in place the best model for Queensland rugby," McKenzie said in a press conference before training yesterday.

"I have had no discussions with the ARU about anything."

McKenzie, who played 51 games in the green and gold said he had helped handpick Graham and admitted the succession plan was six months in the making.

"We're adding quality to Queensland rugby. It's not often in rugby where you get to plan for the future," he said.

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