Rugby League: Uncertainty for Goodway

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The Independent Online
Opinion is divided at Wigan over the prospect of the Great Britain coach, Andy Goodway, rejoining his old club as No 2 to John Monie.

Goodway is among the applicants for the job of running the club's reserve side and helping Monie with the senior squad.

Monie, who gave Goodway his start in coaching by putting him in charge of the Academy team when he was still a player at Central Park, is known to want his old ally back alongside him. The two are firm friends and the combination of their talents would make Wigan's drive to reassert themselves as Britain's premier club look more determined than ever.

Another former Wigan player, the ex-Great Britain full-back Steve Hampson, is also among the candidates for the job and there are those at Central Park who favour such an appointment, as they feel that Goodway, as an incumbent national coach, would be over-qualified for an assistant's role.

He was in charge at Oldham until being sacked midway through last season. He then took over at Paris, steering them clear of relegation only to see the club put into cold storage for the 1998 season, leaving him without a job at club level.

Goodway was appointed Great Britain coach last year, suffering a 2-1 series defeat by Australia. He is also scheduled to be at the helm for the World Cup this autumn, although reorganisation in Australian rugby means that the tournament is now unlikely to take place.

Goodway remains earmarked to coach Great Britain in a Test series in Australia, or a triangular tournament also involving New Zealand, in November.

The Rugby League's chairman, Sir Rodney Walker, is to fly to Australia in February to work out the international calendar for the coming season. He will invite representatives of Super League Europe and the First and Second Division Association to join him on the trip.

The League's acting chief executive, Neil Tunnicliffe, said: "We are absolutely delighted with the rapprochement in Australia and we are going into discussion with them, not just for this season but over long-term plans covering the next eight years."