NRL veteran coach Shane Flanagan speaks on Super League link, Castleford Tigers job and son Kyle Flanagan’s future after Super League speculation

THERE was a time during the 2022 Super League season when NRL veteran coach Shane Flanagan was being linked with the vacant Leeds Rhinos job.

Following the departure of Richard Agar as Rhinos head coach, chief executive Gary Hetherington went on a mission to find Leeds’ next boss.

Of course, Hetherington found Norths Devils boss Rohan Smith and the rest is history, but Flanagan was one of the main names on the list.

Now with Lee Radford leaving his post at the Castleford Tigers, there have been murmurings about a potential replacement, but it won’t be Flanagan after he spoke on his link to Leeds and his desire to stay in Australia.

Flanagan did, however, have an idea about who would be the best bet for the Tigers moving forward.

“Leeds made some enquiries but it didn’t eventuate too far,” Flanagan told League Express.

“My kids are still at that age where I want to be in Australia. My young kid is playing in the NRL and I would rather be here and experience that and be able to watch him.

“I don’t want to be too far away, I want to see him progress

“The Castleford job is not for me at this stage, but Dean Young would be the best option from over here.”

Young is currently the assistant coach of the North Queensland Cowboys and had a spell as interim head coach of the St George Illawarra Dragons back in 2020, winning two games and losing four.

But, his partnership with Cowboys head coach Todd Payten has been a fruitful one, with North Queensland finishing third in 2022.

In terms of Kyle, the halfback had been linked with a move to Super League back in 2022 – and League Express exclusively revealed last month month that the Bulldogs have been pushing for Flanagan to make the move to the UK.

Flanagan is on around $600,000 at Belmore and Canterbury are willing to pay half of his wage to make the move.

However Flanagan Senior is keen to see his son put his best foot forward at Canterbury and hopefully fight for a new contract in light of a new era at Belmore.

“Kyle is going really good, he’s a good pre-season and he’s looking forward to a big start. He’s got a new coach and some new players, so it’s going to be a good year for him,” Flanagan continued.

“He’s out of contract at the end of the year, but his plan is to stay there and, after a month or so, if he’s playing good footy those type of things will take care of themselves.”

The Bulldogs have signed the likes of Viliame Kikau and Reed Mahoney whilst former Melbourne Storm flyer Josh Addo-Carr has been a revelation at Belmore.

And with Canterbury able to lure Stephen Crichton for 2024, the future looks bright for the Bulldogs, but whether Flanagan will be a part of the plan remains to be seen.