Who would be an NRL senior coach?
THE rumour mill in rugby league is out of control.
The fact that no one respects a contract these days has led to unprecedented speculation about coaches’ movement in the NRL.
It’s all a result of the domino effect of Anthony Griffin’s sacking and huge doubts about the futures of Wayne Bennett at the Broncos and Trent Barrett at Manly, despite both being under contract.
This is what I’ve heard from various sources and on social media in the past two weeks.
Phil Gould to St George-Illawarra as general manager when Peter Doust retires.
Wayne Bennett to the Penrith Panthers, Parramatta Eels, St George Illawarra or Gold Coast Titans. Take your pick.
Paul Green to the Brisbane Broncos. Anthony Seibold to the Brisbane Broncos.
Ivan Cleary to the Panthers. Trent Barrett to the Panthers. Michael Maguire to the Panthers. John Cartwright to the Panthers. Again, take your pick.
Des Hasler to the Wests Tigers. Des Hasler to the Sea Eagles. Neil Henry to the Sea Eagles.
Anthony Griffin to Leeds in the UK Super League.
Never has there been so much speculation about coaching roles.
In the old days, a lot of this gossip and guesswork wouldn’t make it into the public arena.
Social media has changed all that. And Gould telling us after he’d sacked Griffin that 12 coaches, five from NRL clubs, had applied for the Panthers job.
Every year coaches are punted mid-contract and clubs waste millions paying them out.
Last year Hasler signed a twoyear extension then was sacked less than six months later.
It was almost an identical situation with Griffin at Penrith.
Jason Taylor was punted by the Wests Tigers while still under contract. Michael Maguire got the bullet from the Rabbitohs six months after extending his deal until 2019. Same too with Neil Henry at the Titans.
Seriously, who would want to be a first-grade NRL coach?
What bank manager would give them a home loan?
Even Trent Robinson at the Roosters was supposed to be under pressure six weeks ago.
Remember the rumour that Nick Politis was poised to do a package deal with Nathan and Ivan Cleary. Robinson ended up extending for four years at the Chooks.
Now he’s a contender for Dally M coach of the year.
It’s damaging because the back pages last week were all devoted to the Panthers and Griffin and Cleary. We didn’t start talking about the big Rabbitohs-Roosters match until game day and it didn’t get the buildup it probably deserved.
So, in this coaching madness, what’s fact and what’s not?
We know Griffin’s gone. We know Barrett has had enough at Manly. Just stay tuned for more.