TOP FIVE NRL COACHES IN WAITING
Written by STEVEN RUSSO , December 6, 2015
HERE ARE the top five coaches in waiting for an NRL gig.
The Walker Brothers
Innovative, outspoken and a bit little wacky, Shane and Ben Walker were recently interviewed for the Newcastle Knights job after guiding Ipswich to Intrust Super Cup and National Championship titles in 2015.
The brothers won the titles on a style of play they’ve dubbed “contract football” which puts an emphasis on retaining possession rather than high completion rates. It’s certainly entertaining and would be a nice change from the conservative play currently embraced by many NRL players.
It’s a real surprise this former copper and all-around nice guy is yet to get an NRL gig.
The Newcastle native has an impeccable coaching record in the lower grades having picked up NYC and NSWRL premierships with Penrith in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Brennan is especially talented at developing young players with NRL stars Bryce Cartwright, Boyd Cordner, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and James Roberts having all been mentored by the current Panthers assistant.
He’s a bit of a smokey, but since retiring in 2013 the former Test prop has proved him to be a decent coach.
Ryles, 36, was recently appointed as an assistant coach under Craig Bellamy at the Melbourne Storm, after a successful stint at a player coach with Wests Illawarra in the Wollongong competition.
Bellamy also has another pretty handy assistant in former Batemans Bay and Cairns Brothers player Adam O’Brien.
One of the smartest halfbacks of the modern era, Kimmorley has all the makings of a great NRL coach. The 1999 Clive Churchill Medallist has held coaching roles with the Bulldogs, Raiders and Tigers and has signed up to replace Ryles at Illawarra Wests for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Articulate, forthright and engaging, Kimmorley also operates a specialist academy for aspiring playmakers.
Brian McDermott very well could be the Sam Burgess of coaching. Only 45, McDermott has swept all before him since taking the top job at Leeds in 2010.
With three Super League titles and two Challenge Cups already to his name, the former Royal Marine wouldn’t look out of place in charge of an NRL side.