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Tigers at loss to find useful role for non-coach Sheens

TIM SHEENS will be back in action as a coach today - but not for Wests Tigers. He will be at Redfern Oval in his other capacity, as Australian coach, to put the Sydney and Newcastle-based members of the Kangaroos squad through their paces.

The club coaching future for the four-time premiership-winning mentor remains unclear after the Tigers management announced at a news conference on Tuesday that he would no longer be the coach.

Sheens had two years left to run on his contract but the club felt that after a poor season this year in which the Tigers missed the finals after starting the year as competition favourites they had to change tack.

Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys and chairman Dave Trodden said Sheens had been offered another role at the club but they were not able to define that position.

''There are lots of roles at our club that may or may not involve being around the NRL squad,'' Humphreys said. Trodden added: ''We are very keen for Tim to continue at our club in a senior role as part of our restructure. He has been offered a position. To be fair to Tim, this has all happened quite suddenly. He will need to consider his position over the coming period of time.''

Sheens is on a deal worth $450,000 a season, and the club is loath to pay him out that sort of amount. The club may say it wants him to continue but it appears they are trying to either squeeze him out by having him work in a role he doesn't want or by buying time while they hope another club comes along to pick him up. But Sheens clearly isn't going anywhere at this stage.


The Warriors are still to make a decision on a coach for next year, to replace Brian McClennan who was sacked, but indications are that Sheens isn't in the frame for that job.

A source close to Sheens said yesterday the 61-year-old remained very keen to continue his coaching career. He still has the Australian job, and the Aussies will play an end-of-season Test against New Zealand in Townsville on October 13, but he has not lost the desire for coaching at club level and was ready to continue doing so at the Tigers until the management removed him.

Neither Humphreys nor Trodden returned the Herald's phone calls yesterday but indications are that they are still in the early days of going through the process to find a coach for next year.

After a decade of Sheens being in charge, and with the club in disarray because of recent poor results and the exit of several players, it is an important decision that they won't want to rush.