Cartwright ready to coach 'Roos: Titans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cartwright ready to coach 'Roos: Titans

By Wayne Heming 28/01/2009 07:57:22 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast believe their NRL coach John Cartwright is more than ready to step up from his assistant role and replace Ricky Stuart as Kangaroos coach.

Just two seasons into his first grade coaching career, the former Test and Origin forward and Penrith 200-gamer is right in the frame for the position, which will be announced next month.

And the Titans would have no problem with Cartwright devoting his time to both roles if he gets the opportunity.

"If John was offered the job the club would back him 100 per cent," declared Titan's chief executive Michael Searle.

"You don't have to have 20 years experience to coach an Australian team, it's more about uniting the players and that's one thing John excels at.

"Given his history in the game, he played at all levels, he's more than ready.

"He's worked under Gus Gould, Sticky (Ricky Stuart) and Tim Sheens.

"He's served his apprenticeship.

"He's fresh, he's enthusiastic, he's passionate about his country."

Cartwright was Stuart's assistant with the Kangaroos in last year's World Cup campaign and his name has been mentioned alongside Mal Meninga, Craig Bellamy, Des Hasler and Graham Murray as possible replacements since Stuart stepped down following Australia's Cup final loss to New Zealand and his verbal attack on referee Ashley Klein.

Origin rivals Meninga and Bellamy are virtually no hope because of the ARL's opposition to appointing a state coach following Terry Fearnley's controversial selection in 1985.

Sportingbet Australia reported heavy support for Manly's premiership-winning coach Hasler on Wednesday as he displaced a drifting Meninga at the head of their markets, firming from $2.75 to $2.25.

But Cartwright's odds have also shortened from $21 to $11

"It's a good opportunity for the game to come in with a fresh face and we've always had a massive opinion of John as a coach," said Searle.

"Carty's efforts in the past two years to bring this time together and mould the culture has been nothing short of exceptional and not dissimilar to what an Australian coach has to do only with a short time line."

The ARL board will choose a new coach from a short list of candidates next month.

Meanwhile, the Titans are hoping to fend off big offers for highly promising speedster David Mead, one of the finds of the recent World Cup when playing for PNG.

The Roosters are believed to have offered the 20-year-old from Lismore more than $100,000 a season on the recommendation of PNG coach Adrian Lam.

"The kid has had some big offers from Sydney clubs so we're trying to lock him down on a new deal," said Searle.

"He's been on our books for four years and he's an outstanding young man.

"We can't afford to match some of the offers coming out of Sydney but hopefully we can convince him to stay here for a little less."

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