The Kangaroos coaching conundrum continues to deepen, with QRL chairman Peter Betros saying he believes Mal Meninga will be coaching the Maroons in next year’s State of Origin series.
The ARLC announced on Friday the Australian job would be given to “a dedicated coach with no ties to a club or state”, however by Monday its tact had changed, suggesting an interim coach may be appointed for the mid-year Test.
Such a move would open the door for Meninga to attempt a 10th Origin success as coach, something Betros expects him to do.
“He will definitely be the (Queensland) coach next year. He’s got a three-year deal with us,” Betros told News Corp.
“If he wants to coach the Kangaroos, he will coach the Maroons next year and then he will go to the Kangaroos.”
Betros also suggested Meninga would be financially better off staying with Queensland, something which may play on the 55-year-old’s mind given he has a young family.
The suggestion has further angered NSWRL officials, with chief executive Dave Trodden saying they will block Meninga’s access to the Blues players if he is juggling both roles.
Previously, former coach Tim Sheens had an open-door policy with the NSW camp, often discussing selections issues with coaching staff.
“It is completely unrealistic to expect that a NSW coach would be liaising with a Queensland coach regarding Australian matters at the same time he is opposing him in a State of Origin series,” Trodden said.
Meanwhile, sacked Manly coach Geoff Toovey has thrown his hand up to take the Australian team for the one-off mid-season Test against New Zealand if an interim coach is required.
“I understand it is all speculation, but certainly should the opportunity come my way to be associated with the national team I would absolutely consider it,” he said.
Toovey however said he wouldn’t want to simply be a doormat to never be used again.