South Sydney Rabbitohs assistant coach, Jason Demetriou has refused to rule out the possibility of returning to Super League in a coaching capacity.
The 43-year-old joined the Rabbitohs from Brisbane Broncos, ahead of the new season, alongside England coach Wayne Bennett, having previously been linked with a number of coaching roles in the Northern Hemisphere.
But, while he remains fixed on developing as an assistant, under Bennett, he admits that he would be open to the prospect of coaching in the UK in the future. In fact his name has been mentioned in connection with the vacant Leeds Rhinos post after David Furner’s sacking this week.
“I’m enjoying being an assistant in the NRL and that’s my main focus,” Demetriou told League Express, “but I loved my time in England. I’d come back in a heartbeat if the right opportunity came up. I’ve still got my house in England and I’ve got a lot of friends over there still.
“I wouldn’t be worried about coming over, I’d be really excited about it. If I had stayed there for the rest of my life it wouldn’t have bothered me at all. My kids call themselves English and tell me they’re going back one day. It’s hard to say where you’ll end up, as a coach, but I would definitely consider it.”
The former Keighley Cougars coach is relishing the opportunity to work with the Burgess brothers in his current role. With more of their English compatriots, heading like John Bateman and others for the NRL, Demetriou feels it can only be beneficial for Super League’s prestige in Australia.
“I expect to see more coming here,” he added. “I was talking to Sam Burgess about this. TThere are plenty of players who could come over. It’s great to see Bateman over here now, and it’s going to be great for the national team. You can see the results they’re getting on the field.
“Now there are more English players over here, Super League will get the respect it deserves.”
One Super League club in particular getting the respect it deserves is Wakefield Trinity, Demetriou’s former club, for whom he scored the famous try that saved them from relegation against Castleford Tigers in 2006.
He captained the club for five seasons, and in 2007 was both named in the Dream Team and shortlisted for the Man of Steel award, and he is delighted to see how far the club has come since then.
“It’s great to see Wakefield where they are now,” he added. “Chris Chester is doing a great job and managing the budget really well. You can sense from the outside that the culture at the club is still very strong. People want to buy into the team and the spirit is right up there.
“Not only that, but they are now starting to retain their top players. That was always an issue for Wakefield but not now; they are really becoming an accomplished side.”