Robbie Deans says new Reds coach Brad Thorn is only making a routine call by axing Quade Cooper.
Thorn has told 70-Test Wallaby Cooper he's not required for the new Super Rugby season, leaving him to play club rugby for Souths and still pick up his $650,000 wage from Queensland.
Deans, who coached Thorn to Super Rugby titles at the Crusaders, says it's up to Reds players to fall in with Thorn's philosophy as he's proved himself a winner.
The 43-year-old has come in vowing to change the culture following a lack of success under Nick Stiles.
And speaking of Thorn's bold move to axe Cooper, Deans says: "That's a coach's life; that's the reality. You've got more numbers in the squad than available places - that's just routine.
"Brad is a bloke who likes to win. He'll make a plan, he'll commit; I'd just encourage those he does it with to commit with him, because he likes to win. He can find ways to win and he'll take people with him that want the same thing.”
Thorn himself says he's not ready to make assessments of how the pre-season is going.
He added: "In all honesty, I want to see that competitive spirit and fight in the team. I want people that support this team to know they gave it their best effort.”
The Reds haven't made the finals since 2013, and have only picked up seven wins in 30 games across the past two Super Rugby seasons.
Queensland are 5001.00 to win the Super Rugby final.
The Reds are 4501.00 to win the Australian Conference.
View all Rugby Union betting