Once disgruntled Queensland flanker Liam Gill says he now has no problem playing under re-appointed Reds coach Richard Graham.
Gill was reportedly part of an eight-strong player delegate that asked Reds officials for a change of coach near the end of their injury-ravaged 2015 Super Rugby season.
But Gill said the players had no choice but to band together under Graham after the besieged coach was re-signed for the 2016 season following an extensive review despite a 28 per cent winning record.
“Richard Graham is our coach next year and the players will be in full support of that,” Gill said at the launch of the second tier National Rugby Championship in Brisbane on Wednesday.
“We can’t afford to waste another year.”
In two injury ravaged seasons at the helm, Graham has steered Queensland to 12th in 2014 and 13th this season.
Despite being forced to re-apply for his position, the Reds opted to stick with Graham, reporting to executive general manager Daniel Herbert under a new structure.
Ex-Wallaby Greg Martin slammed Graham’s re-appointment, saying it will cost the Reds in crowd numbers.
“This has tested my faith,” Martin, who made more than 60 Reds appearances, told the Triple M Brisbane Grill Team.
“All the season ticket holders, they’re going to experience one of the worst crowd seasons ever, no-one is going to buy any tickets.”
The QRU said they had received over 20 applications for the coaching role from Australia and overseas but concluded Graham was the right man for the job.
Martin said QRU chief executive Jim Carmichael would be the man to suffer if the appointment didn’t work out.
“He’s a good man Richard Graham, a lovely fella, but that doesn’t make good coaches,” he said.
“They did a review that took months. They’re saying there wasn’t a better applicant putting his hand up, I knew some of the people, there were better applicants.
“What it says is the QRU, well done, you’re accepting mediocrity that’s what you are doing.
“Nice work, thanks for hurting us all.”
Meanwhile, Gill will captain Brisbane City in a grand final re-match with Perth Spirit at Ballymore to launch the new NRC season on Thursday night.