New South Wales coach Laurie Daley has said that if Queensland rival Mal Meninga holds the Maroons job as well as the Australia coaching role simultaneously, he won’t be sharing information with him on how he’s working.
Meninga is the favourite for the role vacated by Tim Sheens earlier this year, but there is talk Meninga could hold both jobs together in 2016.
Daley has backed Meninga for the role with the Kangaroos – but has said that it would be difficult if he held both roles rather than relinquishing the Queensland job, saying he’d not be prepared to be swapping ideas with him.
“Most people would agree that if he wanted it, he should get it,” Daley told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Most people also know it would also be too tough to do both in terms of wearing your Origin cap and coaching the Test team. I might be wrong, but I’d find it too difficult.
“With Mal, that’s something you’d have to ask him. If he’s the Australian coach and coaching Queensland, I won’t be swapping too many ideas and exchanging too many thoughts on what I’m doing and how I’m going about it.”
Daley also believes it would be tough to avoid being labelled as one-sided if Meninga held both roles, with former Kangaroos coach Terry Fearnley attracting criticism for his selections whilst in charge of both NSW and Australia in the 1980s.
“You’d be putting yourself up as being biased, you put yourself in an awkward situation,” he said. “We need to learn from what happened in the past and it’s unfair on the coach to have that accusation thrown at him.
“I’m sure you’d be able to put that aside but if something all of a sudden happened – If Mal was coaching and put a couple of Queenslanders ahead of NSW blokes or vice versa – it would cause drama you wouldn’t necessarily need.
“It’s better off to stay as it has been and have a coach – whether it’s from clubland – because for me personally I don’t think you could do both at the same time. I think at the end of the day anyone can handle it but it’s a situation you don’t have to be in, it’s a situation no-one needs to be in.”