QRL would love Meninga to keep coaching - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

QRL would love Meninga to keep coaching

By Wayne Heming 01/07/2008 07:41:49 PM Comments (0)

Queensland would be more than happy to offer Mal Meninga a new multi-year coaching contract regardless of the outcome of Wednesday night's series decider against NSW.

Meninga, who is looking to complete a rare Origin series hat-trick, was noncommittal about coaching Queensland again next season.

But the former Origin great has the backing of his players and Queensland rugby league officials who are greatly impressed with how he's turned the Maroons' Origin fortunes around since they dropped three straight series in 2003-2005.

Meninga lost his first Origin as coach 17-16 at Telstra Stadium in 2006 but ultimately presided over the 2-1 series victory.

They defended the series last year, winning the opening two games.

Asked if he would take up his option to coach Queensland next year, Meninga said: "We'll get through game three first."

"I'm enjoying the experience and I think we've got a fantastic group of great young players and an opportunity to stay involved would be good.

"We'll make a decision after this (decider).

The Queensland Rugby League (QRL) struck a deal with Meninga to coach over 2007-08 with an option for 2009 in case he wanted to walk or they wanted to look for another coach.

"The (QRL) board would be more than pleased to have Mal back again regardless of tomorrow night's result," said Queensland Rugby League general manager, Ross Livermore.

"It's up to him now whether his business commitments allow him to do it.

"We'll speak to him regarding the option and see what he wants to do but I think if he was looking for more than just next year the board would be very favourably disposed to that as well."

Several Queensland players have spoken out this week in support of Meninga staying on with the Maroon backline loaded with young talent and superstars such as Greg Inglis, Israel Folau and Karmichael Hunt.

"Irrespective of the result tomorrow night, Mal has been terrific," said Livermore.

"He's been great for the Origin series, he's been good for the young players, for the QRL and he's done everything we've asked of him."

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