McDermott was Cunningham’s pick for England job

St Helens head coach Keiron Cunningham has paid testament to new England head coach Wayne Bennett, but has revealed Leeds chief Brian McDermott was his choice for the role.

Bennett was appointed as England’s next head coach yesterday after it was revealed by the RFL that Steve McNamara would not be offered a new deal.

However, following McDermott’s success at Leeds, Cunningham believes the current USA head coach should have been given the job.

“If I was going to go for anybody I’d have gone for Brian,” Cunningham told BBC Radio Merseyside.

“You can team up Brian and a Shaun Wane combination.

“A lot of people would question what I’m on about, but when you see what they’ve done for their teams in a period of time and how much success they’ve had, then they’ve got to be doing something really well.”

Despite Bennett’s appointment not being Cunningham’s preferred choice, he spoke highly of the new man at the helm.

“Wayne’s definitely in the top two in the world,” he said.

“There will be plenty of English boys who will want to work with him. I’d like to work with Wayne myself, I think he’s an amazing guy.

“We’ve tried with Australian coaches in the past, but is there any better Australian coach than Wayne Bennett?”