RFL leaves the door open for Flanagan

Photo AAP

10 May 2019 - Written by John Davidson

Disgraced Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan could resurrect his coaching career in the English Super League.

Flanagan was de-registered by the NRL in December 2018 for breaching the conditions of his suspension in 2014. The 53-year-old was banned from the sport for 12 months five years ago for his involvement in the Sharks peptide scandal.

According to reports in Australia, Flanagan is in the running to take over at Leeds Rhinos. On Monday the English club sacked coach David Furner after the Rhinos won just four of this past 14 games.

With no way back into the NRL currently, Flanagan could relaunch his career in the UK.

An RFL spokesperson confirmed a move for the former Western Suburbs and Parramatta hooker to England would not be completely blocked.

“We will always uphold any ban imposed by the NRL,” an RFL spokesperson said.

“But that will always be subject to the right of appeal to our own Operational Rules tribunal, and in other cases there would be an element of discretion for the RFL Board, in consultation with Super League where relevant.”

Super League declined to comment when contacted by Everything Rugby League. Both the RFL and Super League have already said than banned fullback Ben Barba would not be allowed back into the competition.

Ex-Wigan coach Shaun Wane, former Halifax boss Richard Marshall, interim Rhinos caretaker Richard Agar, London coach Danny Ward and Castleford coach Daryl Powell have all been linked with the vacant Leeds job.

Flanagan played for St George, Wests and the Eels in the 1980s and 1990s. He retired from playing and begin coaching with Parramatta’s SG Ball team in 1997.

Flanagan served as an assistant to Ricky Stuart at the Roosters and Sharks, and to Craig Bellamy with NSW from 2007 to 2010. That year he was appointed head coach of Cronulla after the departure of Stuart.

At the Sharks Flanagan had a 55% win ratio, with 101 victories, two draws and 81 loss from 184 games. In 2016 he led the Sydney club to its first and only grand final victory.

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