Dragons coach Paul McGregor. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP
Dragons coach Paul McGregor. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Forgotten man better fit for Dragons than Flanagan

If St George Illawarra even contemplate asking the NRL to allow Shane Flanagan to take over from Paul McGregor it will be another embarrassing blight on what was once rugby league's most famous brand.

And if it was allowed then surely we have to allow Jack de Belin to return immediately, and the Dragons could recruit Todd Carney and Ben Barba for good measure. Maybe we could even waive Bronson Xerri's pending drug suspension.

Let's remember when the NRL allowed Flanagan to take on his assistant coaching job this year it was under a strict proviso that Flanagan would not become a head coach until 2022.

Flanagan even came out and said he not only accepted the NRL's decision but respected it.

And at a time when Xerri's drug shame is still so fresh it is outrageous there is talk of Flanagan possibly getting a reprieve.

Dragons assistant coach Shane Flanagan. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP
Dragons assistant coach Shane Flanagan. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

If McGregor is to go, there are plenty of other worthy contenders. Roosters defensive coach Craig Fitzgibbon would be a standout, while he also has history at the club. Dean Young is on staff and a proven leader.

If they want to go for an experienced coach Anthony Griffin had a 55.5 per cent winning record over seven seasons - and I reckon he'd be even better after what he went through at Penrith.

But the other forgotten man is Geoff Toovey.

Toovs doesn't get nearly the credit he deserves for his record over four years at Manly. He took over in a really difficult transition following Des Hasler and still managed a 58 per cent success rate that included a grand final appearance in 2013 - when many would argue the Sea Eagles had no luck with some tough calls.

 

Geoff Toovey would be a great appointment. Picture: Damian Shaw
Geoff Toovey would be a great appointment. Picture: Damian Shaw

 

The other thing about Toovey is that he oozes what this current Dragons team is seriously lacking - passion and a proven winning record.

Some might say Toovs wouldn't be the right fit because he belongs at Manly.

I'd argue where Toovs belongs is in rugby league, full stop. It wouldn't have mattered where he carved out his career, Toovs would have been a winner, regardless.

Originally published as Forgotten man better fit for Dragons than Flanagan


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