Stuart could coach rugby: Gregan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stuart could coach rugby: Gregan

By Adrian Proszenko, David Beniuk and Adrian Warren 30/08/2006 06:18:18 AM Comments (0)

Wallabies captain George Gregan says he'd be happy to speak to dumped Sydney Roosters mentor Ricky Stuart about a switch to the rugby ranks.

Stuart, who made the switch to league after touring Argentina with the 1987 Wallabies side, was released from the final year of his coaching contract with the NRL club.

"He's got a pedigree in rugby, I used to watch Ricky at St Edmunds (College in Canberra)" he said.

"He was a pretty handy rugby player, a pretty handy halfback, he could do everything.

"Who knows, I guess you should be asking Ricky but he's a very astute coach, he's got a very good understanding of both codes.

"He's obviously very passionate about league, but he knows a thing or two about rugby union.

"I guess if the opportunity was there, I'm sure he'd have a look at it, but it's all hypothetical really.

"I know, I used to watch him play, he played pretty well."

Asked would he encourage the move, Gregan said: "I wouldn't encourage him either way, it's his decision.

"If he wanted to talk about it, I'm happy to talk to Ricky, but I'm not going to tell him what to do, it's his life."

Meanwhile, Roosters captain Craig Fitzgibbon bristled at suggestions the players weren't putting in this year for Stuart.

"It's just another person's opinion," Fitzgibbon said.

"I can't speak on behalf of the other players, I know myself I still prepare the same way and we play for each other, we play for our coach and we play for our fans and sometimes it's disappointing because we haven't been playing well enough.

"We're still trying our best, that's for sure."

Fitzgibbon said the news came as a shock to the players, who were not consulted about the decision.

"We've been so successful under his reign for a long time and now the last two years haven't been so successful," he said.

"It's disappointing that we couldn't get the results for him because he's a terrific coach and he's done so much for the club.

"It's always sad when you have an association with someone for so long and they're moving on."

Roosters supremo Nick Politis said there would be no rush to name a replacement.

"We've got plenty of time, we just don't want to rush ... so probably a month from now," he said.

"We'll see what comes out of the woodwork, I'm sure some people will be putting their hands up and we'll see who's available.

Wests Tigers mentor Tim Sheens felt for Stuart, but said results ultimately dictated whether a coach's job was safe.

"You are always under pressure and as coaches we understand that," he said.

"At the end of the day they will mark you on how many games you're going to win.

"The difference is that some clubs are a little more loyal than others, some will hang in there a little longer for the results.

"Some of the older clubs, that have a tradition of winning, find that difficult to handle when they are not winning and have a short fuse.

"The Roosters have always been that way."

Stuart's manager, John Fordham, said he hadn't spoken to other clubs but expected his client to be coaching at club level again soon.

"Ricky Stuart won't be in the unemployment queue for too long, not with what he's achieved," he said.

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