Queensland Reds' young gun Angus Scott-Young talks Brad Thorn, Ballymore

Sign Brad Thorn long term, maybe George Smith to a coaching role while they're at it, and getting a game back to Ballymore: that's what rookie Angus Scott-Young wants for Queensland Reds as the franchise starts to climb up from the Super Rugby mire.

Playing his first season of Super Rugby, Scott-Young has impressed in a Reds side that sits at 4-5 and eight points adrift of Australian conference leaders, NSW Waratahs. But a victory over the winless Sunwolves could close that gap, putting the Reds right back in contention for a playoffs berth.

Much has been made of Thorn's impact at Ballymore in 2018 and there are a few better than Scott-Young to assess the All Blacks great's coaching mantra. Having worked under him at both Queensland Country -- in the National Rugby Championship -- and at Under 20s level, Scott-Young has picked up a few of Thorn's key traits.

"I guess from the 2016 [NRC] season when we finished second last or third last, had maybe one win that whole season; then Thorny came on board as head coach and he kind of just put it to us that we've got to be humble and we're going to work hard, and we're going to see where we get to this year," Scott-Young tells ESPN.

"And we just adopted that mentality - we weren't expecting big things but we just kept working every week. And it ended up leading us all the way [to the title] and I think that was pretty cool. We weren't looking at the big picture, we were focusing on us and training really hard. And that paid off in the end."

After taking Queensland Country to the 2017 NRC title, Thorn was shoehorned into the Reds hotseat at the expense of Nick Stiles. It was the club's third coaching change in three years.

But it appears to be the Reds' best move since they hired Ewen McKenzie way back in 2010, even if there have been some concerns around the side's attack this season.

The franchise's steady improvement has reportedly put Thorn on New Zealand Rugby's radar however, and a move to the country where he forged his stellar rugby reputation could yet prove too enticing to resist.

Scott-Young hopes that isn't the case.

"When I was in the 20s, he came straight across from playing at Leicester ... so he was fresh off the footy field, he was pretty much still a player himself," Scott-Young says. "I think it's an interesting perspective because he's played the game for a long time, played a ridiculous amount of games, and he has knowledge in areas where maybe a long-term coach who's been removed from the game [as a player] wouldn't have, especially as a forward.

"I think it's very important for the Reds to hold onto him, he's had some massive impacts on the Reds this year. I've come through with him through the Under 20s to Queensland Country and I've seen the way he works for a couple of years now, and he brings a great brand of rugby to Queensland.

"I think it's very important for him to stay for a couple of years just to solidify his work. So hopefully he sticks around."

While Thorn has helped shift the Reds' performance dial from the training paddock, it was hard to miss veteran George Smith's outstanding shift in the club's shock 27-22 victory over the Lions a fortnight ago.

Scott-Young was just three years old when Smith made his Super Rugby debut with the Brumbies in 2000, yet some 18 years later he finds himself in a back-row trio with one of the all-time greats of the game.

"It's been awesome working with Georgie, he's similar to Thorny in the way that he brings that [first-hand playing] knowledge," Scott-Young tells ESPN. "He's had so much experience out there on the paddock, he's played so many professional games and it's awesome to work alongside him. And he's still going hard after playing: how many years in professional rugby I don't know? It's good to be alongside him, he's playing good footy.

"He's always had a trademark style, Georgie. Personally, I try and pick up a few hints from him. But he hasn't drastically changed my game yet; I know he's helped out the other opensides quite a lot, with two or three techniques. But just the knowledge he brings, I'm enjoying it."

While the Waratahs failed to end Australia's trans-Tasman Super Rugby rot, the franchise's decision to take a game to Manly's Brookvale Oval was widely applauded. A crowd of around 15,000 got along to the venue on Sydney's Northern Beaches, the hill a picture of support NSW hasn't enjoyed for some time.

And the occasion wasn't lost on Scott-Young who hopes to see the Reds make a similar move back to the club's spiritual home: Ballymore. Rugby Australia administrators have lobbied the Queensland Government for funding to help bring the venue up to code, making it a facility that could be used by a variety of sports.

For Scott-Young, the chance to wear the red jersey on the same patch of turf where his father, Wallabies lock Sam, made his name would be something truly special.

"I think that would be awesome if they had a game here; I don't know how it works with Suncorp [Stadium] licensing and everything," Scott-Young Jr says. "But I think it would be awesome to go back to Ballymore, obviously with my dad playing here, Paul Carossa; all those guys used to play here and apparently back in the day it was quite a spectacle.

"So I think that would be pretty cool to play a game here...dad told me all the stories about how they used to pull up all their cars behind the Bundaberg Rum Stand and they used to have picnics out there, all the families together. So it would be cool to get back to that, I think it would really bring out the Queensland rugby community."

Having come through the development pathways, Scott-Young is an example of how Australian system can work. The next step, of course, is Test rugby with the Wallabies.

ESPN columnist Greg Growden recently included Scott-Young in his mock Wallabies squad for the first Test against Ireland next month. Though a nice surprise, the youngster's focus is elsewhere.

"Yeah I saw that article, I had a read of that; that was pretty cool. I didn't expect that all really to be honest," he says. "I'm not saying I wouldn't want to do it but I'm just focused on playing footy for the Reds at the moment, playing footy here because I've only played a couple of games.

"If that [Wallabies selection] happens, it happens; that would be amazing. But yeah I'm just focusing on the Reds at the moment and I'll leave that to whoever decides that."