Meninga could handle both Qld, Roos: QRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Meninga could handle both Qld, Roos: QRL

By Laine Clark 02/12/2008 08:19:30 PM Comments (0)

Mal Meninga would be able to handle both the Maroons and Kangaroos reins if the national coaching job became available, Queensland Rugby League chairman John McDonald said.

Kangaroos coach Ricky Stuart will be interviewed this week as part of an independent investigation into his conduct following Australia's shock World Cup final loss.

ARL chairman Colin Love will wait for lawyer Robert Weber's independent report - to be presented to world body the RLIF by the end of the week - before deciding on whether sanctions be imposed on Stuart.

Meninga has already been thrown up as a contender for the Australian job if Stuart is axed or resigns, appearing at $6.50 in a market framed by a betting agency for the Kangaroos role.

In September, the QRL handed Meninga a three-year coaching extension, keeping him in control of the Maroons until the end of 2011.

He is aiming to steer Queensland to an unprecedented fourth straight Origin series win in 2009.

But McDonald did not believe handling the national and state jobs would be a problem for the legendary former Kangaroos captain.

"He could do both," he told AAP.

"He would not be required to relinquish his State of Origin position.

"Mal has been a great ambassador for the game, and a member of the Team of the Century.

"We respect Ricky's contribution to the game as a player and a successful coach but if he (Meninga) wanted to be put up (for the Kangaroos) we would be happy to nominate him.

"But let's see what happens with Ricky Stuart first."

QRL managing director Ross Livermore said the perceived friction created by Terry Fearnley juggling the NSW and national jobs in 1985 was a case against Meninga wearing two representative hats.

But he did not rule out Meninga pulling off the double.

"We sort of have a policy at the ARL that it is preferable to have a (national) coach who is not coaching a state side and also it is preferable to have a coach not coaching a club side," he said.

"We had Terry Fearnley years ago and there was a lot of friction there, so on that basis you would say no.

"But things change, times change and we will just wait and see what happens.

"Mal would do an admirable job if he was up there but that hasn't been addressed yet."

Meanwhile, Stuart's manager John Fordham did not know when his client would be interviewed.

He said Stuart had not yet indicated whether he would seek reappointment for a fourth term as Kangaroos coach.

Stuart wrote a heartfelt Sunday newspaper column about his predicament - but Fordham did not want to elaborate further on his client's state of mind on Tuesday.

"With great respect, I am not going to go into all that, about whether he is stressed or not stressed," Fordham said.

"He has got an obligation to provide a statement to the independent investigation.

"We are in the process of working on that statement, and that's what we are focussing on."

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