England coach Steve McNamara set for NRL move with the Sydney Roosters
McNamara is out of contract with the RFL and despite the move yet to be confirmed, his media officer tweeted that he will definitely be staying in the game
Friday 13 December 2013
England coach Steve McNamara appears to be set for a move to Australia's NRL with the Sydney Roosters.
The 42-year-old's contract with the Rugby Football League ended after the recent World Cup and although he said in the aftermath it was a position he did not want to relinquish easily, he was quickly linked with a cross-code move to Bath.
Gary Gold's departure as Bath's director of rugby this week lent weight to that story, but reports in Australia now suggest he is poised to join the NRL champions and serve as an assistant to Trent Robinson.
Neither the RFL or Sydney have confirmed the switch, but a tweet from McNamara's media officer appeared to suggest he had opted to head Down Under and stay in the 13-a-side code.
"Absolutely delighted that Steve McNamara will be staying in Rugby League. A great bloke and one of the most underrated coaches in the game," tweeted Danny Reuben, who was a key member of McNamara's support staff with England.
If McNamara is leaving his England post - it is not clear whether or not he is - then it brings to an end a four-year spell in the job which has produced a mixed bag of results.
England won just one game at the 2010 Four Nations against Papua New Guinea, before reaching the final and losing to Australia on home soil a year later.
In 2012 they won a tri-tournament with France and Wales, before this year reaching the World Cup semi-finals where they conceded a try to New Zealand which knocked them out with 21 seconds to go.
The tournament was also notable for reports of ill-discipline in McNamara's camp, with Gareth Hock and Zak Hardaker sent home and other players reportedly out of line too.
More positively, the former Hull forward oversaw the formation of the England Knights the Elite Training Squad, which has been well received by the players.
If McNamara is leaving the job, the likes of Wigan's Shaun Wane and Leeds' Brian McDermott can expect to be highlighted as possible replacements.
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