The St.George Queensland Reds have strengthened their coaching team for 2019 and beyond with the appointment of Super Rugby Championship winning coach Jim McKay as the new Attack Coach.
McKay, who has coached at an elite and international level for 24 years, will return to Ballymore in October after signing a two-year deal that’ll see him at the Reds through 2020.
Queensland Rugby Union Interim CEO David Hanham said: “We’ve been focused on ensuring we have the best coaches with experience and proven success surrounding Brad Thorn that can continue to develop the quality playing talent that is coming through the Queensland system.
“Jim is very well known to Queensland’s rugby community through his four years with the Reds as Senior Assistant Coach, including during the winning 2011 Super Rugby campaign.
“I know Jim can’t wait to get back to Ballymore and bring his wealth of experience to the Professional Rugby Department as we prepare for the 2019 Super Rugby season,” Hanham said.
McKay, who has an overall career 76 per cent winning coaching-record, first came to the Reds in 2010 as Ewen McKenzie’s Senior Assistant Coach and lived up to his reputation for having one of the best attacking minds in the game.
He played a major role in shaping the Reds’ highly-acclaimed attacking structure of play and in just his second year in Queensland, helped the Reds to a Super Rugby title in 2011. In that same year, the Reds broke their Super Rugby season try-scoring record with 45 tries in 16 regular season game – a record which had stood since 1996.
McKay said he was excited about returning to Ballymore and working alongside Brad Thorn to develop the current young Reds squad.
“I’m both proud and humbled to be back at Ballymore – I have a strong connection here and I am extremely passionate about Queensland and the Reds.
“I’ve got to know Brad over the past year and I’m looking forward to working with him.
“Queensland has a proud rugby history and heritage and I am motivated to help enhance the rugby program and reconnect with the strong broader Queensland rugby community,” said McKay.
He departed Ballymore in 2013 and followed McKenzie to the Wallabies where he worked as the Australian Attack Coach.
During his 15 months with the Wallabies, McKay assisted to steer the side to seven straight wins that included four wins on a Spring Tour which hadn’t been achieved since 2008.
He was also a part of the coaching staff when the Wallabies recorded their first clean-sweep of France in a three Test series and oversaw Australia score 15 tries in the 2013 Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup, which was more than double of that in the corresponding matches the previous year.
Following his departure from the Wallabies in 2014, McKay had a stint as a Coaching Consultant with the Worcester Warriors that saw the side secure promotion back into the English Premiership.
McKay was then appointed Assistant Coach for Tonga at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, before becoming Head Coach of the Kobe Steelers in the Japan Top League in 2016.