25 Sep 2020 5:22 PM +00:00

NRL coaching hot seat

Picture credit: John from Redcliffe, Australia

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Coolest of cool thrones

Shane Flanagan (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Craig Bellamy (Melbourne Storm), Anthony Siebold (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Trent Robinson (Sydney Roosters).

These guys are going nowhere, well they’re not getting fired that’s for sure. The only way any one of these coaches makes a move is if they decide the pastures are greener elsewhere.

As the first coach to lead the club to a Premiership, Shane Flanagan appears to have pretty free rein down in the Sutherland Shire while Craig Bellamy and Trent Robinson appear set to be able to dictate terms as they see fit at the Storm and the Roosters respectively.

Anthony Siebold is the only coach here who could be on the move any time soon, and that’s just because of how well he has taken to his first job at Redfern and the fans he has amongst General Managers around the league.

Pretty safe


Nathan Brown (Newcastle Knights), Dean Pay (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Paul Green (North Queensland Cowboys).

Results amongst all three of these coaches haven’t been stellar in 2018 but with the rebuild he’s done at the Knights Nathan Brown is well and truly in the pretty safe category and should have plenty of leeway to do things how he wants in the Hunter for the foreseeable future.

Dean Pay is in his first year as a head coach at Belmore and he’s undergoing a dramatic roster overhaul, so it’s safe to say he’ll be given the time while Paul Green will have plenty of room to improve after a shocking season in far North Queensland.

Not too worried right now

Garth Brennan (Gold Coast Titans), Ivan Cleary (Wests Tigers), Stephen Kearney (New Zealand Warriors).

Another first-year head coach, Garth Brennan will be given time to turn things around on the Gold Coast after a pretty disappointing year. There have been some good signs and the chance to rebuild a lagging roster is on the cards for a guy widely respected as a shrewd operator.

Ivan Cleary may be a little less popular with the Tigers board and their faithful fans after a dalliance with returning to Penrith, but given the fight the club put up to keep him, he’s not likely to be sent packing any time soon.

Widely tipped as a coaching casualty at the start of the year, Stephen Kearney has probably done enough to keep himself in the big chair over the ditch in New Zealand despite another end-of-year trail off in results.

Maybe starting to get a little concerned


Brad Arthur (Parramatta Eels), Ricky Stuart (Canberra Raiders), Paul McGregor (St George Illawarra Dragons).

Brad Arthur is highly respected by the fans and management at the Eels, but after a horror season in which rumours he’d lost the dressing room began to surface, there has to be a little bit of pressure on him as we head into the off-season.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor is hugely unpopular amongst the fans but will back himself to keep the job and management appear more than happy with his work despite another big drop in form across the back-end of the season.

In terms of Canberra coach Ricky Stuart, what can I say? Yet another season missing the finals and with a woeful record and there appears almost no talk he’s on the nose in the nation’s capital. If it were up to me, he’d be on the hottest hot seat in the competition, but we’ll have to make do assuming there’s a little heat on him to fix things quickly for 2019.

That seat is getting toasty

Wayne Bennett (Brisbane Broncos).

At the start of the year, I don’t think too many people were questioning Wayne Bennett’s position with the Broncos. Locked down for 2019, Bennett was expected to see his contract out and perhaps sign another short-term extension to see him through to retirement.

Given the constant speculation and internal food-related struggles at the club, however, the veteran coach may just have a warm posterior right now.

Smack bang in the middle of the hot seat


Trent Barrett (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles).

Need I say more? Tensions between Trent Barrett and the Manly board and management appear at boiling point and there’s little expectation the former star player will be coaching at the club next season.

There’s not really a category

Cameron Ciraldo (Penrith Panthers).

It’s hard to categorize Cam Ciraldo given he’s only in the Penrith gig on a caretaker basis right now. He could be handed the job permanently and will hope to put himself right in the shop window over the next few weeks, but Penrith could snag a big-name head coach at any minute and he’ll either fade back into the assistant’s role or move on.

Which coaches do you think are on the hot seat and which are on a cool throne right now? Let us know in the comments below.

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