Sheens labels Furner a worthy successor - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sheens labels Furner a worthy successor

Laine Clark 11/11/2010 07:09:30 PM Comments (0)

He's not ready to relinquish the reins just yet, but Australian coach Tim Sheens believes his Kangaroos assistant David Furner would be a worthy successor.

Sheens pointed to Furner's ability to turn Canberra's 2010 NRL season around as proof enough of the former Test forward's coaching credentials, after the Raiders had lost five of their first seven matches.

"David did a great job this year even though he was under the pump which I was glad to see," Sheens said on Thursday.

"Everyone has got to be under the pump at some stage, calling for your head.

"If they don't do that, something is wrong.

"And he fought his way out of it which is a credit to him."

History shows Canberra won eight of nine games to make the NRL finals, only to be knocked out in the semis - coincidentally by Sheens' Wests Tigers.

Fortune continued to shine on Furner - with Royce Simmons' appointment as St Helens coach creating a vacancy on Sheens' Kangaroos staff - and the former Raiders premiership-winner has clearly grabbed the chance with both hands.

Asked who could take over as Kangaroos coach, Sheens said: "There are plenty of young coaches out there who could handle it ... (but) I have been very happy with David Furner in particular.

"There are plenty of young coaches out there - I am not saying the old blokes don't have something to offer too."

Indeed, the 60-year-old Sheens reckons there are plenty of tricks left in the old dog yet.

But he may not have a choice if the unthinkable happens on Saturday night - just like it did in the 2008 World Cup final.

That was the last game for Sheens' predecessor Ricky Stuart, although it was his post-match behaviour - rather than the result - that led to his downfall.

Asked about his Test future, Sheens said: "First of all, the ARL appoint you year by year so you are never sure where you are going.

"If we don't win the series this week all of a sudden they will be calling for my head so I might not have the job anyway.

"But I have enjoyed it.

"I certainly won't be doing it forever, it is a job that you would like other coaches (to do), not on a massive rotation, but I don't intend doing it for 10 years or anything silly like that.

"It is a pleasure working with them but for how long for, it is hard to say."

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