After an extended board meeting today, the Australian Rugby League directors confirmed Sheens was there man after meeting in Sydney.
Geoff Carr from the ARL confirmed on Radio 2KY this morning that the loss of Ricky Stuart was disappointing and while Stuart had a ‘brain snap’ after last year’s World Cup loss to New Zealand; ultimately Stuart not only brought coaching nous, but instilled a strong sense of passion back in the jersey. Carr explained the board would discuss the possibility of a rule change to allow an Origin coach to take the reigns on the Australian sid – however the Queensland push for this change was defeated.
Sheens eventually chosen after the 4 Queensland representatives on the 10-man ARL board were unable to gain support to overturn a rule blocking State of Origin coaches from running the Australian side.
As expected, the Queensland members were keen for Mal Meninga at the helm.
When the rule change was overruled, it was a matter of decided between Manly-man Des Hasler and Gold Coast’s John Cartwright, who has been an assistant to Stuart at both the Roosters and the Kangaroos.
As he nears the age of 60, Tim Sheens shows no signs of slowing down. The former Raiders and Wests Premiership winning coach has been in charge of City Origin for the last 3 years and was coach of the NSW State of Origin side in 1991 and 1997 (Super League).
It’s hard to believe, but Sheens has been the mentor for several current coaches – the likes of Stuart, Cartwright, Meninga, Craig Bellamy and the upcoming Laurie Daley. Sheens obviously had the credentials that the ARL directors were looking for.
The first test for the new coach comes on May 8 where the Kangaroos will get the first shot at revenge over New Zealand in Brisbane.
“We believe we have the best man for the job,” Geoff Carr confirmed.
“The ARL had an outstanding group of coaches to select from and that is an indication of the regard Tim Sheens is held in.
“Tim’s record speaks for itself – he has won four premierships and has coached more games than anyone in the game’s history.
“There are very few coaches out there who have achieved such sustained success over such a long period of time.
“Tim’s experience is matched by his ability to extract the absolute best from his players at both club and representative level.”