Ex-Leeds Rhinos target Shane Flanagan has landed a shock new coaching role that perhaps few saw coming.
Flanagan was an assistant coach at the Dragons in 2020 and 2021 under Paul McGregor, before moving into his new role following the arrival of new head coach Anthony Griffin, who is on contract until at least the end of the 2023 season with the Dragons.
The veteran is most famous for guiding the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks to a 14–12 victory over the Melbourne Storm and win NRL the Premiership, becoming the first head coach of the Sharks to do so.
However, controversy has followed Flanagan ever since he and Cronulla were hit hard following an investigation into the club’s supplements program.
Flanagan was de-registered as a coach in 2018 for failing to stick by the rules outlined in the suspensions’ conditions back in 2014.
The NRL integrity unit had found that Flanagan had sent more than fifty emails exchanged between Flanagan, club management, and the football department which was strictly against the conditions of his suspension which included that Flanagan was to have no contact or involvement with the club during his ban.
However, the 65-year-old will now take the reins of Papua New Guinea as the coaching director at the 2022 World Cup in England later this year.
“I’m really excited about it, I think I can help the PNG team,” Flanagan said.
“There’s a Test match in Fiji soon leading into the World Cup, and I’m there to help and give advice.”