Flanagan could wait for Super League opportunity following NRL deregistration

Cronulla’s former Premiership-winning head coach Shane Flanagan could wait for a Super League job vacancy if his NRL deregistration stands.

The 53-year-old, who guided the Sharks to their first NRL title in 2016, was provisionally deregistered for communicating with club staffers while suspended for his role in the club’s supplements scandal.

Flanagan submitted his response to the NRL’s breach notice this week after being given an extension and may turn to England while he is suspended from Australia’s premier competition.

Despite the RFL standing by the NRL’s ban given to current Man of Steel Ben Barba, it is unknown whether this applies to coaches, with large numbers in Australia feeling Flanagan has been dealt with harshly.

In a statement provided to The Sun-Herald, the RFL said: “As we said in specific relation to the Ben Barba situation, we will always uphold any ban imposed by the NRL.

“But that will always be subject to the right of appeal to our own operational rules tribunal, and in other cases there would be an element of discretion for the RFL board, in consultation with Super League where relevant.”

With Super League job’s potentially becoming available later in the season, Flanagan would surely be a contender given the excellent job he did during his eight seasons in charge at Cronulla.

Should this situation arise, the RFL would be forced into making a decision on the matter with Flanagan sure to jump at the chance to coach again after this reputation-damaging episode.

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