Sam Burgess to Warrington Wolves: Is the former England captain ready to be a head coach?

Warrington Wolves are still on the hunt for a new head coach after their first choice and former St Helens boss Justin Holbrook turned them down at the last second, however they now have an extended period to find their man prior to their next Super League match.

Names atop the bookmakers list of favourites include Salford boss Paul Rowley whilst the rest are typically those with NRL experience, such as Anthony Griffin, Adam O’Brien and South Sydney Rabbitohs assistant John Morris.

There’s also been another name touted from inside the Rabbitohs camp as it was announced that Sam Burgess was being considered, reports from the Daily Telegraph confirmed that he was ‘headlining’ a list of candidates.

It prompted the former England international to move from 25/1 outsider with Betfred into 5/4 favourite, close to even money.

One man who advocated for him was Brian Carney with the former player turned presenter making the case for the Bunnies legend to replace Powell.

“I’m going to throw something at you guys. When they appointed Daryl Powell there wasn’t a higher profile or better candidate but it didn’t work out,” Carney explained on Sky Sports’ broadcast of Warrington as they hosted Catalans.

“I’m going to say Sam Burgess. He was described to me as a leader of men like no other. You put Sam Burgess in the coaching setup with a good structure around him, tell me why that wouldn’t work.”

Kevin Brown, former Wire player and England teammate of Burgess’ disagreed.

“He’s a leader of men, one of the best leaders I’ve ever been around and he demands respect,” Brown explained.

“My worry would be, he’s a little bit wet behind the ears in his coaching career. I think he’s going to be an unbelievable coach but it’s too soon, too soon for Sam, too much of a risk.”

But as Brian Carney said, why not? Burgess has a very strong relationship with Wayne Bennett and has been working in and among one of the best run NRL sides in the Rabbitohs.

Daryl Powell, as pointed out by Carney, was one of the best available to Warrington at the time having led an understrength Castleford all the way to the Grand Final.

With plenty of talent in the Warrington team then a leader of men is potentially what Warrington need as Carney stated.

The fact that Wayne Bennett had offered Burgess a contract and role at new NRL side the Dolphins shows how highly regarded Burgess is, but he knocked back the role to remain in the Souths set up.

Instead former St Helens boss Kristian Woolf has taken that role and is now widely expected to be the heir to Bennett.