The Queensland Reds have lured promising forward Caleb Timu back to rugby from NRL club Brisbane.
The former Australian schoolboys representative, lauded as a future Gorden Tallis after his return to the Broncos last year following a two-year Mormon mission, will link up with the Reds immediately after being granted an early release from Red Hill.
The 22-year-old will spend his first couple of weeks with the Reds under the guidance of another ex-Bronco after the Reds elevated World Cup winner Brad Thorn to assistant coach.
Timu was snapped up by the Broncos after completing school, returning to the NRL club after his two-year mission in the South Pacific.
But Reds general manager Daniel Herbert said the Super Rugby outfit had always had Timu in their sights.
“He is a dynamic footballer and someone we’ve tracked since his high school days,” Herbert said.
“We expect he will offer a lot to our side over the next two years, as we continue to build our program.”
Timu will link up with ex-All Black Thorn at Ballymore over the next two weeks while the Reds’ main squad is in South Africa for road clashes against the Bulls and Stormers.
Thorn’s promotion comes after the dual international’s successful stint as a forwards coach for the Reds’ under-20s squad.
Thorn helped the Reds claim the inaugural Super U20 championship and says the time spent learning the ropes of coaching before taking on a senior role had been of huge benefit.
“I’ve really enjoyed the ability to have a virtual apprenticeship with the under-20s and the Reds have been very understanding since I arrived at Ballymore,” Thorn said.
“I now feel I can use my experience to assist this Reds program.”