Kevin Sinfield insists Wayne Bennett still retains the drive to coach England at the next World Cup.
But he admits that the RFL would be foolhardy to rush into any sort of knee-jerk reaction without a full, thorough review into 2019.
Sinfield has completed his part of the review into the Great Britain tour last year, with his remit solely on on-field performance.
And when asked if Bennett still wants to coach England, Sinfield simply said: “Yes”.
But he added: “To just blindly go into a review and carry on regardless, I think it would be foolish at this stage. It’s important it’s done in the right manner and respectfully, but I haven’t met other candidates.
“It’s only right as part of the review that I highlight a plan to take us forward. The recommendations and review are about appointing the best person for the job.”
Sinfield admits he expects the identity of the next England coach to be revealed next month, with several external candidates from both sides of the world expressing an interest in taking over should Bennett not continue.
He said: “I think it’ll be in early-February – or so I’m told. I’m in dialogue with Ralph (Rimmer) and other members of the RFL to move this forward, and I understand they’re going through a process. I’ll know when you guys know – or maybe the day before.
“My section of the review was completed before Christmas. But you want to make sure it’s thorough and no stone is left unturned. I feel we’re in a good place, and there is a plan to take us forward, but it isn’t my decision now.”
Last week, Wigan owner Ian Lenagan revealed that the majority of top-flight club chairmen do not want Bennett to continue, saying they would instead prefer an Englishman to take the job.
“The less said about the recent international series the better,” he said.
“It’s interesting to see our old friend Shaun Wane being mooted a few times in terms of whether or not he should become the England coach.
“There is no doubt that from the vast majority of chairman I talk to that we’d like to see an English guy and somebody who can motivate and understand Super League better.
“I think Wayne Bennett an enormously capable coach and has been superb all his life, but I would much prefer a Shaun Wane or a Powell, or whoever it is, but someone of calibre and talent who can make the England team play well because he knows them and doesn’t make strange selection decisions.”