Following today’s release of the NZRL’s scathing internal review of their Rugby League World Cup failure, the next question on New Zealanders’ lips is: who’ll be the next coach?
According to Brent Read on Triple M, the job is expected to go to Broncos assistant coach Jason Demetriou.
Demetriou is considered a decent NRL coach-in-waiting, and was interviewed last year for the Titans job (that eventually went to Garth Brennan).
There’s an obvious link to the Kiwis with Demetriou being an assistant to Wayne Bennett, who oversaw Stephen Kearney and the Kiwis 2008 World Cup triumph. However, the main appeal is Demetriou’s apparent connection to Tongan defector Jason Taumalolo, from his time in North Queensland.
The Kiwis are reportedly desperate to lure Taumalolo back, and think that Demetriou could help them do that.
As embarrassing as losing to Tonga was, it’s a bit disappointing for the Kiwis to respond by trying to bring back Tonga’s best player, given that strong Pacific Test teams are the best things to happen to international rugby league in years.
But desperate times call for desperate measures, and that’s certainly one way to get better than Tonga.