WHAT price Paul Anderson being the next
England national rugby league coach?
It may not be an option the Huddersfield Giants head coach has considered at this stage of his Super League career.
But if he were ever to fancy a spell in the hot seat, then the fact he’s been around the
Huddersfield club could prove his trump card.
That’s because a spell in this part of West
Yorkshire has so often proved the key to unlocking the door to an England national coaching
It was a fact that was once again brought to the rugby league world’s attention when legendary Australian coach Wayne Bennett held his first press conference since taking over as the new England boss a couple of weeks ago.
Although the main purpose for Bennett being on these shores right now is Brisbane Broncos’ World Series clash against Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium tonight, it was also an ideal
opportunity for him to meet his new bosses at the Rugby Football League, as well as members of the home RL media.
Bennett’s decision to leave the Broncos at the end of next season and move to the other side of the world to take over the England job may appear a bold move.
However, spending a fair amount of time in England is nothing new to the 66-year-old, just ask the more mature and loyal claret and gold supporters.
Many of those still remember with some affection in 1972 when winger or full-back and fellow Queenslander and future brother-in-law Greg
Veivers – the older
brother of former Giants
skipper and coach Phil – were the Fartown
jersey with some
Bennett’s time in Huddersfield may have been relatively brief – around six months.
Yet the fact he’s
prepared to come back to England for at least two more years at the end of this Australian NRL campaign shows his stay couldn’t have been that bad.
“I really enjoyed my time in
Huddersfield,” said Bennett, who last came back to visit his old Fartown teammates over a decade of years ago.
“I loved the people and I loved the club.
“I’ve got some incredible fond memories about the place.
“To be honest, I’m really pleased to see the re-emergence of Huddersfield over the past
decade or so.”
But why the reference to former Great Britain Anderson and Bennett’s England appointment right now?
Well, it’s simply down to the fact that the last three England coaches have all been on Huddersfield’s books at some stage.
As just mentioned, Bennett had a spell at Fartown in 1972, with
previous England boss Steve McNamara (right) also having spent time in
He was the player who was the
victorious captain when the Giants were promoted back into Super League in 2002, when a certain Tony Smith (left) was the head coach. Yes, the same Tony Smith who was in charge of England before handing over the national reins to McNamara.
Can you see the pattern emerging?
Succeeding Bennett in a few years’ time may not have entered
Anderson’s head at this stage.
But having helped the Giants secure their first top-of-the-table finish in 81 years to lift the Super League Leaders Shield in 2013 and continuing to grow in coaching stature all the time, Anderson as the next national coach and continuing this current Huddersfield trend is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.