It is safe to say that as one of the referees coaches, he has had to deal with his fair share of criticism this year – but despite all that, for Stuart Raper, something that he is considered for quite some time now, is a return to the world of coaching.
With current Sea Eagles assistant Matt Parish now at the Eels, and possibly the Tigers if they give him the head coaching role – the vacant role is one that Raper is keen on, and he contacted Manly coach Geoff Toovey to discuss the possibility.
Whilst he has no immediate plans to quit his current role, Raper did admit contacting Toovey, as an expression of interest in the role.
“I had a chat with ‘Tooves’ to see if there were any opportunities.
“I may get my knuckles wrapped (for admitting that). Nothing has come of it so far – it was more about keeping my options open. I have been thinking about it (a return to coaching) for a while now,” he said.
“There’s no denying it’s been a tough year. I wanted to see if there was any interest out there in me returning to coaching. I hope there is.
“You never know how long you are going to be here (as ref’s coach). Coaching is my first passion, but I am also enjoying what I’m doing with the referees and feel I have a lot to offer.”
Raper, who was formerly a coach at the Cronulla Sharks, the Wigan Warriors and the Castleford Tigers, says that no matter what role you have, coaching is always something that you consider.
“Going back into coaching is something you always consider,” said Raper, who has coached Cronulla, Castleford and Wigan.
“I don’t know if I would take it, I am just weighing up my options but (coaching) is something I am looking to do.”
“I was more enquiring with ‘Tooves’.
“I knew there was an opening there but let me stress again I am happy doing what I’m doing.”
With several other names mentioned as possibilities, including Tony Iro, Phil Blake and Brad Arthur – Toovey refused to discuss any intimate details of the process the club is undertaking.
“We are going through the process,” he said.
“We are interviewing people but that is private and confidential.
“It will be a tough and difficult decision making sure you find the right person for the job.
“We have a few more people to talk to.”