Wigan owner Ian Lenagan has insisted that both he and the majority of Super League chairmen want to see an Englishman such as Shaun Wane or Daryl Powell take the England job: not Wayne Bennett, saying they want an ‘English guy who can motivate’.
Speculation remains over who will coach England moving forward, though it is still widely anticipated that Bennett will be rewarded with a contract extension despite overseeing a dismal Great Britain tour last autumn.
But Lenagan said on Tuesday that he thinks someone such as former Wigan coach Wane would be a far more suitable candidate, expressing the need for someone from England to take the job instead of Bennett.
Lenagan said: “The least said about the international series the better I think. It’s interesting to see our old friend Shaun being mooted a few times in terms of whether or not he should become the England coach. There’s no doubt from the vast majority of chairmen I talk to, we would like to see an English guy who can motivate, and understand Super League better.
“I think Wayne Bennett’s an enormously capable coach and he’s been superb all his life. But I would much prefer to have a Shaun Wane or a Powell or whoever – somebody of calibre and talent who can make England play well because he knows them. And doesn’t make the kind of selection strange decisions, as we think of them.”
Lenagan also admitted that with the RFL saying they will consult with various stakeholders on the decision surrounding the new coach, he is hopeful Wigan’s thoughts on the matter will be heard.
When asked if the thinks the RFL will be in touch, Lenagan said: “I would have hoped they might. Previous experience has not involved that, but Simon Johnson as the new chairman is quite impressive. He knows what he’s talking about and he’s not parorocial at all. I think that there will be more consultation.
“There is already starting to be on things like broadcasting which is nice to see because logically, whether you’re talking about the Challenge Cup, internationals or Super League, you should be doing it together. For rugby league to have a joined up concept, whether it’s broadcasting, competitions or the appointment of coaches, it would be nice to be involved, and that’s beginning to happen more and more.
“The England appointment is important all of the time, and if we get consulted that will be a nice position. I think we’ve got a very, very good chance of winning the World Cup in 2021 – we nearly got there with Australia in ’17. You look at the quality of people coming into Super League and that will make our England team even stronger.”