Canberra Raiders legend Mal Meninga is part of a four-man brains' trust charged with finding the club's next head coach after the post-David Furner era began with a loss to Manly on Sunday.
Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart has distanced himself from a multimillion-dollar move to the Raiders, insisting he has unfinished business at the Eels.
The sub-committee's formation was part of a day of high drama for the Raiders after troubled centre Blake Ferguson was dragged into yet another controversy.
After the match, interim coach Andrew Dunemann admitted Ferguson was fit to play. He had been ruled out earlier in the week with a quad injury. However, he was a no-show at the game, and dined with Cronulla players in a Sydney pub on Saturday night.
The Raiders' board met at Canberra Stadium before the 36-22 defeat to Manly, to begin the search for a replacement for Furner.
The sub-committee will be chaired by Allan Hawke. Other members are Meninga, Raiders chief executive Don Furner and David Thom.
Thom and Raiders Group general manager Simon Hawkins were sounded out by senior players Terry Campese and Brett White last Monday. It sparked rumours of player power, but both players insisted their motive was not to oust Furner.
Channel Nine's Sunday Footy Show claimed the Raiders had offered Stuart a seven-season, $7 million deal to jump ship from the Eels.
Stuart and Don Furner quashed the speculation on Sunday, dismissing it as ''rumours'' and saying candidates for the job had yet to be approached.
Asked by media after Parramatta's 64-4 loss in Melbourne if the Raiders had approached him, Stuart replied ''no''.
Pressed if he would consider a return to the club where he won three premierships, Stuart said: ''I have a job to do here.''
Don Furner also denied claims the club had approached Stuart.
''They've ratified four people for the committee, which will be selecting and interviewing coaches,'' Furner said.
''That will take its course in the next couple of weeks.
''Some said he [Stuart] has been offered seven years. That couldn't even have happened; the board only met today.''
Fairfax Media understands Stuart was sounded out by the Raiders last season, but any chance of him joining the club evaporated when Canberra failed to meet his financial demands relating to the football department.
Canberra says there is no time frame to settle on Furner's replacement, but it is understood they hope to make a decision before the end of next month.
Meninga, Laurie Daley and Michael Hagan have ruled out applying. Sacked North Queensland coach Neil Henry is unlikely to return to Canberra after his acrimonious departure in 2008.