St Helens’ Kristian Woolf has become one of the leading coaches of his generation.
After making the move to Super League ahead of the 2020 season, the Tonga national boss has more than put his stamp on the UK competition, winning two Grand Finals and a Challenge Cup in his two-and-a-half years at the club so far.
With Saints playing a superb brand of rugby, coupled with incredible defence, there is little to suggest that the Merseyside club will not win a fourth Grand Final in a row – and a third for Woolf – in 2022.
However, with Woolf yet to commit to any future contract, the 46-year-old has been linked with a move back to the NRL.
And, with the New Zealand Warriors and Wests Tigers now both looking for new bosses after the sacking of Nathan Brown and Michael Maguire respectively, there is no shortage of potential destinations.
The Daily Telegraph previously reported that Woolf is the number one target for the Warriors after the pain of the past few seasons under Brown.
And, now the publication today has reported that Woolf was offered the Warriors job after the club’s owner Mark Robinson flew to England earlier this month in an attempt to convince the Tonga national boss to sign.
However, it is thought that the Saints boss wants a return to Australia instead, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Woolf has also been linked with a coaching role alongside Sam Burgess at the Dolphins, the Courier Mail previously reported.
Bennett himself revealed that Woolf, whose deal runs out at the end of 2022, is a main target to come in as assistant and then take the reins permanently in 2024.
“I would be interested in Kristian, plus a couple of others,” Bennett said.
“I’m not sure what will play out. I imagine there are a few clubs interested in Kristian, he is a good young coach and yes, he is one of about four guys we are interested in.
“There is so much to be sorted out for us, I won’t be jumping at shadows.
“It’s not an urgent time frame yet (finalising his assistant), we’re still a while away from starting up so I can take my time. We know who the head coach is. I will get my ducks in order first and then I will see what our succession plan is.”
It remains to be seen where Woolf’s future in 2023 and beyond lies, but with the Warriors ruled out, Wests Tigers, Canterbury Bulldogs and the Dolphins are all in need of a tough character.