One of John Grant’s major duties in a post-Dave Smith NRL world is likely to be to appoint Tim Sheens’ successor as Kangaroos coach.
Grant will not take over as interim NRL chief executive when Smith steps down from his post on November 30. But the ARL Commission chairman has been granted “additional duties” while rugby league operates in an off field leadership vacuum.
One of those duties is set to be the decision to appoint the new Australian coach.
Sheens signed a one-year extension as Kangaroos mentor for 2015. However he was unlikely to be considered to continue his seven-year reign beyond that with ARLC powerbrokers preferring to bring in new blood.
The four-times premiership winning coach will not be considered regardless after he joined Super League outfit Salford as director of rugby league in June.
Mal Meninga appears to be the leading contender for the Kangaroos job. The Queensland State of Origin coach has indicated he will seriously consider the role if it is offered to him.
Former Manly mentor Geoff Toovey is another candidate while Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett is reportedly interested in the role.
Either way, whoever wants the coveted job as coach of the national side will have to impress Grant.
New Zealand defeated Australia 26-12 in the Anzac Test in May in Sheens’ last match in charge.
The Kangaroos don’t play again until the Anzac Test next year. Given Grant has indicated Smith’s successor might not be installed when the NRL season kicks off for 2016, the ARLC Chairman is likely to have the lead role in deciding who will take over the Kangaroos.
They will likely come as part of his “additional duties”.
“There will be no interim CEO but, after that date (November 30), I will take on some additional duties,” Grant has said.