NSW State of Origin and Canterbury Bulldogs coaching futures to be clearer within days
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NSW State of Origin and Canterbury Bulldogs coaching futures to be clearer within days

The futures of both Canterbury and NSW are set to be determined within days of each other as they prepare for board meetings over the next fortnight to decide on their new coaches.

The Bulldogs are coming to the end of their internal review after a series of interviews over the past week, with chairman Ray Dib to provide the findings at a board meeting next week.

Family favourite: Des Hasler should find out whether he will continue to coach the Canterbury Bulldogs over the next fortnight.

Family favourite: Des Hasler should find out whether he will continue to coach the Canterbury Bulldogs over the next fortnight.Credit:Dave Hunt

The NSWRL will on Friday gather for the first time since deciding to axe Laurie Daley, considering the option of a part-time coach to take the reins.

Canterbury's decision to either stick with or punt Hasler could have a huge impact on the NSWRL's call on Daley's successor, however Brad Fittler remains the frontrunner for the job.

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Logical choice: Brad Fittler is considered the obvious option to take over from Laurie Daley as the next coach of New South Wales.

Logical choice: Brad Fittler is considered the obvious option to take over from Laurie Daley as the next coach of New South Wales.Credit:Chris Lane

The NSWRL will consider whether to allow full-time NRL coaches - or even their assistants - to apply for the vacant State of Origin role if they agree to scrap a Canavan Report recommendation prohibiting those with club commitments taking on the top job.

They have previously maintained a long-held commitment not to appoint a coach wedded to current NRL duties.

It could set the coaching merry-go-round into overdrive, opening the Blues role up to a handful of candidates who have otherwise been prevented from throwing their hat into the ring for one of the hardest jobs in Australian sport.

There could be a number of other challengers to Fittler if the Blues board pursue the part-time path and widen their net beyond NRL head coaches.

While it was considered the likes of Hasler, Trent Robinson, Craig Bellamy and Shane Flanagan would be under consideration if that were to be the case, it's understood a number of their deputies would also be in the reckoning.

It means the likes of Roosters assistant and Country clipboard carrier Craig Fitzgibbon could juggle both his NRL and Origin roles if he was given the nod for the top gig, instead of being forced to abandon his role with the tricolours.

Once establishing a new job description, the NSWRL will then narrow its search for the man to halt Queensland's near Origin monopoly with a decision to be made for Christmas.

"There's a board meeting on Friday," said NSWRL chief executive David Trodden, who on Monday was promoting the Intrust Super Premiership decider between Wyong and Penrith at Leichhardt Oval.

"That board meeting won't discuss the personalities. The most important thing the board need to consider is whether they continue with the recommendations from the Canavan report, which is to appoint a full-time coach, or whether that part of the report needs to be re-visited and they appoint a part-time coach.

"They have to make a call on that decision before talking about the personalities because there will be a different group of people available, depending on which way they go. And in terms of part-time appointments, it's not just NRL head coaches it would relate to. There are a lot of NRL assistant coaches who maybe suitable for a part-time appointment."

Brian Canavan urged NSW to follow Queensland's lead and rely on a full-time coach after being appointed to conduct a wide-ranging review into the Blues' 2010 series loss.

Trodden said the process of appointing a new coach would not be rushed. "It's not like [hiring] an NRL coach where we need to start training in November. But I also don't think it's in anybody's interests for there to be any extended speculation about who it might be.

"The important thing is getting the right person, and there's a desire to make it happen sooner rather than later, and certainly well before Christmas."

Daley was sensationally dumped last month after presiding over a fourth series defeat in five years, which preceded weeks of negative headlines about the Blues' culture after it emerged Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson had enjoyed a long drinking session five days out from the decider.

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Daley has been linked to the yet-to-be-filled Titans job after the Gold Coast axed Neil Henry, who spectacularly fell out with star fullback Jarryd Hayne over the last 12 months.

He is carefully planning his next assignment while preparing for his World Cup calling duties with host broadcaster Seven Network.

Adam Pengilly is a Sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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