Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
In early June the Wests Tigers confirmed that they had parted ways with head coach Michael Maguire after two and a half years at the club.
Speculation over Maguire’s future had been circulating since 2021 with rumours becoming prevalent when the Tigers started this season with five straight losses.
Following a 44-18 thrashing at the hands of the South Sydney Rabbitohs Maguire was released from the rest of his contract during a bye week for the Tigers and former New South Wales State of Origin representative Brett Kimmorley has been interim coach since.
The club is still yet to manage a single win under Kimmorley but have revealed their plans for the future as yesterday it was confirmed that 2005 premiership-winning coach and Tigers current head of football Tim Sheens will be taking over the role of permanent coach in 2023 until the end of 2024 with former players Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall joining his staff.
Sheens will then relinquish the position to Marshall in 2025 who is contracted until the end of 2027.
We recently saw a similar situation play out at the Rabbitohs with Wayne Bennett coaching the Bunnies from 2019 until the end of 2021 with Jason Demetriou taking over this year.
"The last 5 years of my career, I felt I did more coaching than playing". Benji is ready for his new coaching role at the Tigers.
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) July 14, 2022
This display of long-term planning from the Tigers is ambitious and Marshall has commented on the announcement on NRL 360.
“It’s very exciting. I love this club. To have this opportunity to go and be mentored by someone like Tim Sheens for two years and then take over as head coach, it’s something I’ve dreamt of,” said Marshall.
“It’s come a bit sooner than I expected but you know what, I back myself to take this opportunity and do a good job.
“I’m passionate about it and looking forward to the challenge.”
Exciting times could be ahead for the Tigers but first they must focus on the rest of season 2022 which is just about in its home stretch.
The Tigers are currently sitting in last place on the NRL ladder through for and against and must prepare for their toughest opponents yet as they face the table-topping Penrith Panthers on Sunday afternoon at CommBank Stadium.