Michael Shenton admits Castleford coach Daryl Powell would be the ideal candidate to become the next England coach if Wayne Bennett opted against carrying on in the role – so long as he didn’t leave the Tigers as a result.
With speculation ongoing about Bennett’s future as England coach, many have tipped Powell as the ideal successor should the 67-year-old opt against a new deal in 2018.
Shenton, who has been at the heartbeat of Castleford’s transformation under Powell, has echoed those calls, telling League Express he is the obvious choice if Bennett leaves.
“Absolutely,” he told League Express.
“Daryl is a fantastic coach, that’s there for all to see. He’s got the credentials, he knows all about Great Britain and England – whichever job they want him for, I don’t know, if it was both, then that’d be interesting.
“But he’s been in a lot of Tests and he watches a lot of Super League and NRL, so I think he’d definitely want to take it.”
Shenton, however, admits he hoped it would not bring an end to his association with Castleford, saying: “I think it’d have to be a part-time job anyway, wouldn’t it. A lot of coaches these days have full-time commitments and we’ve done it quite well with a part-time coach in Wayne recently. But a lot of the players who were at the World Cup have said they’d love to see Wayne get another opportunity, so who knows.”
Shenton, perhaps to the surprise of some, was overlooked for this autumn’s World Cup in Australia – but the 31-year-old insists he will not give up on an England recall.
He does, however, admit his last chance to play at a World Cup has now gone.
He said: “I’m certainly not in a position where I’ll turn my country down.
“No chance. It’s a massive honour, the biggest honour, in fact. I spoke to Luke Gale after the final and I know how much it meant to him to be able to do that.
“I won’t get that opportunity again and there’s a disappointment there, but I thought the guys who played did the country proud, without a doubt.”
On his own omission, Shenton said: “He had every right to pick his own team, and watching that final, nobody can deny they were playing well as a team. It was sensational really and we’ve come so far since the last time we were Down Under in a World Cup in 2008.”