SYDNEY: Australian rugby league chiefs confirmed on Sunday that Tim Sheens will lead the Kangaroos into next year's World Cup as they seek to reclaim the trophy they have dominated in recent decades.
The Australian Rugby League Commission said the former Wests Tigers coach, who has an impressive record of just one defeat in 18 Tests since taking the helm in 2009, would also assist with the national high performance programme.
Australia, then coached by Ricky Stuart, lost the Brisbane final of the 2008 World Cup to New Zealand, which precipitated Sheens's appointment the following year.
"The Kangaroos have a proud history in the World Cup, winning nine of the 13 tournaments ever contested, so bringing the 2013 trophy home from the UK is my key focus," said Sheens, whose 12-month part-time appointment means he will serve a fifth term.
"However, I am also very excited about the opportunity to have input into the national high performance programme and the pathways for our future Kangaroos."
National Rugby League general manager for league integration and game development Andrew Hill said the new coaching structure was part of the ARL Commission's commitment to growing the sport and the Australian Kangaroos brand.
"In the past the Australian coach did the same as the players and just turned up in camp. Now he will be able to help increase the profile of the Kangaroos which is important in a World Cup year," Hill said.
The 2013 Rugby League World Cup will take place next October and November in England and Wales, with some matches in France and Ireland.