O’BRIEN REJECTS KNIGHTS’ FLANAGAN SOS
BESIEGED Knights coach Adam O’Brien wants to reject a move by the club to bring in premiership-winning coach Shane Flanagan to get his team back on course.
Flanagan – who steered the Sharks to their maiden title – would seem a good fit for the struggling Knights – but O’Brien doesn’t want him on board.
Knights boss Phil Gardner is keen to bring in Flanagan, a coach with a long history of success at the top level, to give the players a new voice.
But O’Brien has told management he is happy with his coaching set-up and doesn’t feel the need to bring in any new staff at this stage.
It will be interesting to see whether Gardner bows to O’Brien’s wishes or goes ahead and hires Flanagan anyway.
Flanagan, who is still barred from holding a head coach role by the NRL, was an assistant at the Dragons last year and is currently working in the media.
BULLDOGS SET TO TARGET KENNY IN LATEST RAID
THE Bulldogs are poised to launch yet another raid on the Panthers, targetting talented hooker Mitch Kenny for next season.
Former Panthers assistant coach Trent Barrett has already lured Jack Hetherington, Matt Burton and Brent Naden to Belmore and has now set his sights on Kenny.
The Bulldogs are desperate for a classy hooker for next season and Kenny fits the bill perfectly, being stuck behind star number nine Api Koroisau at the Panthers.
With Koroisau and seven team-mates on Origin duty or suspended last weekend, Kenny was one of the best players in the depleted Penrith side as they fell to Wests Tigers at Leichhardt.
At 23, Kenny is a Panthers local junior who has served his apprenticeship and is now ready to be a regular top grade hooker.
The Bulldogs’ first choice was Storm star Brandon Smith but he is under contract to the premiers for another 12 months.
MADGE WELCOMES OLD FRIEND IN TIGERS CAMP
ONE coach who has no trouble with a new face is the Tigers’ Michael Maguire, who will welcome highly-respected veteran Tim Sheens onto his staff with open arms.
The pair go way back – Sheens handed Maguire his top-grade debut as a player way back in 1992 and the pair have always been close.
Sheens won’t be a threat to Maguire – his role will be mainly in pathways and development.
The former Kangaroos coach has been working in England for several years but will forever remain a part of Tigers folklore, having delivered the club its lone premiership in such rousing style in 2005.
Sheens won’t be back for nearly a month however – he has committed to coaching the ‘Exiles’ team that plays England in a one-off international in three weeks.
TIGERS-BULLDOGS EYE POTENTIAL SWAP DEAL
THE Tigers are still somewhat interested in signing out-of-favour Bulldogs utility back Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to boost their backline stocks.
The Dogs are prepared to pay a large slice of DWZ’s hefty salary to sweeten the pot and a player exchange is also a possibility.
And who is the player being mooted in the swap? The temperamental Joey Leilua, who has been in and out of the Tigers side but can be a dangerous attacking weapon on his day.
Watch this space.
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