John Kear on his future as Wales coach following World Cup campaign

JOHN KEAR is keen to carry on coaching Wales.

The seasoned Widnes team chief took over the Dragons from Iestyn Harris in July 2014.

Kear, who has also had spells in charge of France and England, has twice guided Wales to the World Cup, although they have yet to win a match in the finals in six attempts.

However, the 68-year-old believes there were signs of promise from his squad of mainly part-time players in this year’s tough trio of ties against Cook Islands, who won 18-12, Tonga (32-6) and Papua New Guinea (36-0).

He’s encouraged by the confirmation of next year’s eight-team European Championship – also involving England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Serbia and Spain – and would like to lead Wales in that tournament.

“We go from year to year in terms of my contract, so I’ll hopefully be speaking to (Wales Rugby League Chairman) Brian Juliff in due course,” said Kear who, having taken only a week off after the World Cup, is back at Widnes overseeing preparations for the new Championship campaign.

“If Wales still want me, then I’m more than willing to remain in the post,” he added.

“We didn’t get the results we wanted at the World Cup, but I was delighted with the attitude and application of the players, and really proud of the effort and endeavour displayed against three strong opponents.

“I think people were expecting us to get a drubbing in each game, but that certainly didn’t happen, and there are definite foundations to build on.”

Kear, who coached England to the World Cup semi-finals in 2000, continued: “The establishment of the European Championship is a big step forward, and hopefully it will become a regular feature.

“IMG have talked about creating an international break during the season, and having three or four games each year would be massive.

“It’s not rocket science that the way for international teams to improve is through playing matches.

“And strengthening the international scene will benefit the game as a whole, because it creates more interest.

“You only have to look at the football World Cup, which has captured the nation.

“Our own World Cup got Rugby League onto television and the back pages in a way in which, at this stage, the club game can’t.

“Hopefully the clubs will get on board with promoting the international game and they will see that a few sacrifices now will be of benefit in the longer term.”