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.

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