The long and tedious process that started ever since Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy announced he would stand down as NSW coach, has officially gotten underway.

The process, which will take sometime to come to a conclusion given that NSWRL General Manager Geoff Carr has to ring several potential candidates in order to distinguish if they are interested in the job.

The first man that has been approached, given his resignation from the Cronulla Sharks, has been Ricky Stuart, and he is the front-runner to get the nod.

After some deliberation, the NSWRL board decided that it was time to get a coach who was not tied down to any club commitments, following Brian Canavan’s report that an overhaul of operations was needed.

Carr, who doesn’t want to reveal the identity of the other coaches being discussed as potential candidates, asked Stuart if he had any qualms about being named as a candidate, to which Stuart said no.

Whoever the new coach is, they will replace former coach Craig Bellamy who was unsuccessful in winning Origin 3 years running.

As everyone is aware, Queensland have won the last 5 series, with Bellamy at the helm for 3 of them, and former Cowboys coach Graham Murray at the helm for 2.

”Ricky was OK with his name being out there, since there had been a lot of talk about him anyway,” Carr said. ‘

‘But we won’t be able to have any more discussions with him for the time being because he is leaving on a family holiday tomorrow. We don’t want to get in the way of that, so I’ll talk to him again after he gets back.”

”I’ve talked to some other coaches as well, who have indicated their interest, and we will weigh things up before deciding who we think would be the best choice. The board will then offer the job to that coach.”

Given that club coaches won’t be considered for the job, candidates are looking thin for the job with only a handful in contention, given they have no ties to an NRL club.

Other names that are being discussed include Jason Taylor, Laurie Daley, Steve Folkes, Daniel Anderson and Brad Fittler.

Whilst they are candidates, it’s unclear as to whether or not they would accept the job to begin with.

Brad Fittler has previously stated that he does not believe that the job is the right fit for him, and in regards to Daniel Anderson, no-one knows what his plans are, after he was sacked as coach of the Parramatta Eels.

Steve Folkes is now an assistant at the Wests Tigers under coach Tim Sheens, and former Souths and Eels coach, Jason Taylor has also not ruled out a potential coaching gig despite being heavily involved with his media commitments.

By ricky

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