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Will a British Coach ever be a head coach in the NRL?


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They are very rare and since the inception of the NRL (post SL war) there have been no British coaches who have been given an NRL gig to my recollection.

Will that change? Are there any coaches currently in the game or coming through that you could see getting one or will the NRL clubs never take a chance on a Brit? 

My view is the most 'NRL-like' coach is Steve McNamara who went there and did an apprenticeship at the Roosters (and Warriors?). Even if an Ian Watson-type coach grew and became the UK's leading coach - would he ever get a look in at an NRL club?

I'm talking head coach here not assistant.

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No British coach will ever be appointed as an NRL head coach without have had time as an NRL assistant.

Once you've become a Superleague HC, would anyone like Watto take that step down (if you think it is a step down)? 

Perhaps, if the money was good enough and their aim was to eventually be a head coach in the NRL. But unlikely if they're flying high. 

I wondered if Lee Radford might have picked up an NRL assistants gig, but there's a stigma if youve been sacked, even if you'd be great specialist coach. 

The most likely scenario is someone going over early in their coaching careers and working their way up - a bit like we're now seeing with some players. 

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Just now, Toby Chopra said:

No British coach will ever be appointed as an NRL head coach without have had time as an NRL assistant.

Once you've become a Superleague HC, would anyone like Watto take that step down (if you think it is a step down)? 

Perhaps, if the money was good enough and their aim was to eventually be a head coach in the NRL. But unlikely if they're flying high. 

I wondered if Lee Radford might have picked up an NRL assistants gig, but there's a stigma if youve been sacked, even if you'd be great specialist coach. 

The most likely scenario is someone going over early in their coaching careers and working their way up - a bit like we're now seeing with some players. 

Yeh you’ve got to work through their systems and get on their radar , then get the recommendations from that . Look at JD at Redfearn , he’s been building up for years after going back there then got tipped up by Bennett for the job . And he wasn’t even in SL 

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2 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

No British coach will ever be appointed as an NRL head coach without have had time as an NRL assistant.

Once you've become a Superleague HC, would anyone like Watto take that step down (if you think it is a step down)? 

Perhaps, if the money was good enough and their aim was to eventually be a head coach in the NRL. But unlikely if they're flying high. 

I wondered if Lee Radford might have picked up an NRL assistants gig, but there's a stigma if youve been sacked, even if you'd be great specialist coach. 

The most likely scenario is someone going over early in their coaching careers and working their way up - a bit like we're now seeing with some players. 

Good points, so maybe a Sam Burgess (keeping his head down and become Souths assistant in a couple of years) or Elliott Whitehead (onto the Raiders coaching staff after retirement)?

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2 minutes ago, DavidM said:

Yeh you’ve got to work through their systems and get on their radar , then get the recommendations from that . Look at JD at Redfearn , he’s been building up for years after going back there then got tipped up by Bennett for the job . And he wasn’t even in SL 

He will be soon if Souths keep playing the way they are.

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16 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Good points, so maybe a Sam Burgess (keeping his head down and become Souths assistant in a couple of years) or Elliott Whitehead (onto the Raiders coaching staff after retirement)?

Yes, I think that could well be the most likely scenario, even if only because they may be settled there so happy to step on the first coaching rung down under. 

Surprises though me how many players come back to the UK at the end of their career, even if playing down under a long time. 

Does anybody know, did James Graham settle in the UK after retiring or go back to Oz? I'd have thought he'd be a potential coaching candidate. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

Yes, I think that could well be the most likely scenario, even if only because they may be settled there so happy to step on the first coaching rung down under. 

Surprises though me how many players come back to the UK at the end of their career, even if playing down under a long time. 

Does anybody know, did James Graham settle in the UK after retiring or go back to Oz? I'd have thought he'd be a potential coaching candidate. 

 

Back to Oz . He’s on Fox and working at the Dragons as well I think 

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4 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

Yes, I think that could well be the most likely scenario, even if only because they may be settled there so happy to step on the first coaching rung down under. 

Surprises though me how many players come back to the UK at the end of their career, even if playing down under a long time. 

Does anybody know, did James Graham settle in the UK after retiring or go back to Oz? I'd have thought he'd be a potential coaching candidate. 

 

Graham is a regular pundit on some of Fox leagues stuff - I believe he just came out and said he's unlikely to go into coaching though didn't rule it out definitively.

Edit: To clarify he was referring to head coaching, he does coaching/pathways with the Dragons.

Edited by UTK
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1 hour ago, Scubby said:

They are very rare and since the inception of the NRL (post SL war) there have been no British coaches who have been given an NRL gig to my recollection.

Will that change? Are there any coaches currently in the game or coming through that you could see getting one or will the NRL clubs never take a chance on a Brit? 

My view is the most 'NRL-like' coach is Steve McNamara who went there and did an apprenticeship at the Roosters (and Warriors?). Even if an Ian Watson-type coach grew and became the UK's leading coach - would he ever get a look in at an NRL club?

I'm talking head coach here not assistant.

Yes, it'll happen. Working as an NRL Head Coach job is the pinnacle and you've got enough people hungry for that that it will happen one day.

I think it will have to be someone who has lived in both countries already though. NRL assistant and State Cup Head Coach experience, use that to get a Super League gig with one of the five or so biggest clubs, and then use that to get an NRL Head Coach job - essentially the same path that Robinson, Holbrook and Maguire took.

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Slating Brits in the NRL is the last form of accepted prejudice- Aussies now (thankfully - but as ever 10 years behind anyone else) dont allow crude or derogatory comments about Pacific or NZ players or coaches (or fans) but you can say what you want on national TV about brits - so no chance a top British coach would be given a chance.

 

Think about when Williams and Bateman left the NRL- they were absolutely slated (while a lot more Aussies left SL at the same time because they were homesick- Merrin etc) 

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2 hours ago, Scubby said:

They are very rare and since the inception of the NRL (post SL war) there have been no British coaches who have been given an NRL gig to my recollection.

Will that change? Are there any coaches currently in the game or coming through that you could see getting one or will the NRL clubs never take a chance on a Brit? 

My view is the most 'NRL-like' coach is Steve McNamara who went there and did an apprenticeship at the Roosters (and Warriors?). Even if an Ian Watson-type coach grew and became the UK's leading coach - would he ever get a look in at an NRL club?

I'm talking head coach here not assistant.

Not strictly qualifying as an answer to your question, but lets not forget Bob Fulton, one of the great coaches in Aussie league who was born in Stockton Heath. Never coached in UK though.

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29 minutes ago, Mr Frisky said:

Slating Brits in the NRL is the last form of accepted prejudice- Aussies now (thankfully - but as ever 10 years behind anyone else) dont allow crude or derogatory comments about Pacific or NZ players or coaches (or fans) but you can say what you want on national TV about brits - so no chance a top British coach would be given a chance.

 

Think about when Williams and Bateman left the NRL- they were absolutely slated (while a lot more Aussies left SL at the same time because they were homesick- Merrin etc) 

That's just how journos treat any players in the NRL. They don't do it for people leaving SL because they fundamentally don't care about SL.

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1 hour ago, The Future is League said:

I wouldn't dismiss the possibility of Ian Watson ever coaching in the NRL

Do you think he'd be willing to go in as an assistant for a bit though? 

I could imagine a scenario where someone like the Dolphins said: come and be a hands on assistant to Bennett for 3 years, then, all being well, take over when he retires. 

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Nearest now would be Watson. Even Rowley knows his stuff. Just gets a bit of criticism over his team's discipline. in the past I always thought, Paul Cullen. 

 

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22 minutes ago, Cw25 said:

Nearest now would be Watson. Even Rowley knows his stuff. Just gets a bit of criticism over his team's discipline. in the past I always thought, Paul Cullen. 

 

Paul Cullen?

They said NRL, not NCL😁

It felt like Wane could’ve got a shot a few years back but he probably would’ve needed to blow the door down with a few more GF wins and better WCC performances. We should’ve won the 2014 and 2015 finals and that would’ve given him 4 on the spin and 5 in 6 years between 2013-2018. 
 

 

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11 minutes ago, WN83 said:

Paul Cullen?

They said NRL, not NCL😁

It felt like Wane could’ve got a shot a few years back but he probably would’ve needed to blow the door down with a few more GF wins and better WCC performances. We should’ve won the 2014 and 2015 finals and that would’ve given him 4 on the spin and 5 in 6 years between 2013-2018. 
 

Yes. He was a excellent Coach. Look at the big names he signed.  Only thing that I suppose does back your joking up is that there was a huge drinking culture within the club back then, Allegedly !. Oh, He was a superb player too.

 

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Will a British Coach ever be a head coach in the NRL?

No!

Unless England win the WC and stuff the Aussies in their own back yard and mullers Queensland and NSW !

What do you reckon the chances are?

 

 

 

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