The news that Great Britain tours will return in 2019 has got everyone talking.
The concept has been clamoured for a return for some years, and in two years’ time, fans will get their wish when a tour to the southern hemisphere takes place.
But while most of the debate will be about who should play – who should the coach be? Here’s a look at five contenders to take the job and follow in the footsteps of the likes of Brian Noble, Malcolm Reilly and Tony Smith.
If you’re looking for a coach to succeed Tony Smith as Great Britain boss.. why not Smith himself? Since GB was retired Smith has continued to establish himself as one of the best coaches in this country, and as a man who prides himself as a Brit when it comes to rugby league, there would be far worse choices than the current Warrington coach to take up the reins once again. He’d be a shrewd appointment.
It wouldn’t be a TotalRL list without a couple of left-field choices: and here’s a big one. In terms of his coaching career in this country, John Kear has done it all. He’s one of the most revered coaches of his, and perhaps any, generation – and should he continue to improve the Wales national side in the coming years, would one huge run as Great Britain coach round off a wonderful career?
If you want a coach who gets results, then look no further. Shaun Wane has a superb CV with hometown club Wigan, and there aren’t many prouder Brits around than the Warriors coach. Whether he’d fancy a crack at the chance to lead Great Britain remains to be seen: but if it were on a part-time basis, it would surely be hard to resist.
Former Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson is still highly thought of within the game, and is currently a pivotal part of England’s coaching staff ahead of the World Cup. However, if he continues to be polished and rounded by Wayne Bennett as a coach, there’s little doubting he’ll be ready to stand on his own two feet as a head coach once again sooner, rather than later. Could he be a future Great Britain boss?
Want an overwhelming favourite? Here he is. There’s little doubting that in the eyes of many, Daryl Powell is not only the peoples’ choice, but the right man for the Great Britain job. A former GB player himself during a distinguished playing career, Powell has performed a quite incredible job with Castleford Tigers at club level. A move into international coaching is inevitable at some point; perhaps a part-time role leading GB alongside his day-to-day commitments at Castleford would be perfect.