NRL stance could put Henry’s job on shaky ground

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - PETER BADEL TRAVIS MEYN

THE NRL will not stand in the way of the Ti­tans po­ten­tially sack­ing Neil Henry as Gold Coast hi­er­ar­chy launched an in­ter­nal probe into al­le­ga­tions the be­sieged coach is at log­ger­heads with play­ers.

The Bul­letin can re­veal Ti­tans chief ex­ec­u­tive Gra­ham An­nes­ley in­ter­viewed 12 Gold Coast stars to dis­cuss Henry’s per­for­mance in the wake of the club’s hu­mil­i­at­ing 54- nil loss to the Bron­cos.

In the one- on- one in­ter­views, held on Mon­day, the play­ers were asked to ap­praise Henry and whether there was unrest among the group.

Some play­ers praised Henry’s coach­ing. Oth­ers were crit­i­cal of his com­mu­ni­ca­tion style and raised con­cerns about Henry mak­ing what they per­ceived as un­nec­es­sary changes to team lists and game plans.

An­nes­ley re­fused to dis­cuss the meet­ings last night, but it’s un­der­stood the Ti­tans boss no­ti­fied Henry in ad­vance of the player probe, which casts fresh doubt over his fu­ture at the Gold Coast.

“We’ve been fo­cused this week on ad­dress­ing things back on track as pos­si­ble,” he said.

The ruc­tions for the Ti­tans con­tin­ued yes­ter­day with Aquis de­cid­ing not to take up a four- year op­tion – leav­ing the Gold Coast without a ma­jor spon­sor for next sea­son.

But the more press­ing con­cern is eas­ing ten­sions be­tween sev­eral Ti­tans play­ers and Henry who was widely be­lieved to be safe for next year quickly as given that the NRL owns the Ti­tans and would be re­luc­tant to in­cur fur­ther debt by rub­ber- stamp­ing an es­ti­mated $ 350,000 pay­out if his con­tract is ter­mi­nated. But the NRL last night told the Bul­letin it would not in­ter­vene in the day- to­day op­er­a­tions of the Ti­tans.

“It is up to the club to de­ter­mine its coach, play­ing ros­ter and staffing,” the NRL spokesman said.

Ti­tans coach Neil Henry.

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