Ex-Leeds Rhinos target and former Cronulla Sharks boss Shane Flanagan set for shock coaching move

There was a time when Leeds Rhinos looked heavily invested in bringing former Cronulla Sharks head coach Shane Flanagan to Headingley.

Richard Agar had just stepped down following a miserable start to the Super League season in which the West Yorkshire side had won just one of their opening seven games, with a number of big names linked to the job.

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington travelled halfway across the world to speak with a number of suitors, bringing with him Norths Devils and former Bradford Bulls head coach Rohan Smith.

However, one of those names that was touted at the time was Flanagan who is currently recruitment manager at the St George Illawarra Dragons following a two-year hiatus from the game.

Flanagan, of course, led the Sharks to their first ever NRL premiership in 2016 and spent a total of eight seasons at the Sharks, transforming the club from basement dwellers to title contenders.

The 56-year-old is, however, a controversial figure Down Under, getting banned from coaching the Sharks in 2014 following the club’s infamous peptides scandal.

Flanagan returned to Cronulla in 2015 and helped steer his beloved club to Grand Final glory in 2016 before once more being the focal point of controversy having violated the terms of his suspension, prompting the NRL to deregister him as a coach in 2018.

Now, though, the polarising figure is being linked with a move to the Gold Coast Titans to become the right-hand man of struggling boss Justin Holbrook and now Flanagan has spoken out on the link.

“You don’t rule anything out,” Flanagan told the Daily Telegraph.

“I would consider it, but under my contract with the Dragons, I could only leave if I was offered a head-coaching job.

“I have a lot going on with my life in Sydney, so for me to pack up and move to the Gold Coast would be a big call, but as it stands it hasn’t been put to me.

“I have a lot of stuff on with Fox and the radio and my commitments to the Dragons. I don’t think the Titans would have the money to match it anyway, it would be a big move.

“I haven’t heard anything lately to be honest. I actually know Justin. I was thinking about being a contractor to the Titans, I spoke to them last year about helping them for this season but I haven’t heard anything since then.”

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