Sheens a target for English Super League poachers
KANGAROOS coach Tim Sheens could be an attractive target for desperate English Super League strugglers Salford or Wakefield if not offered a long-term deal as national coach.
This country's most successful coach is currently locked in talks with Australian officials after losing last year's Four Nations final to New Zealand - just his third loss in the job since 2009.
Sheens wants a multi-year deal rather than the traditional year-by-year appointment which both Queensland and NSW Origin coaches Mal Meninga and Laurie Daley have ditched for longer stints.
Australia plays only one Test against New Zealand this year in April.
Understandably, Sheens would be keen for any new deal to run at least until the end of 2016.
If the NRL does not lock him away, there's a strong chance a battling club such as Salford - owned by colourful and controversial figure Marwan Koukash - could try and poach him.
After being belted 52-6 by St Helens in the Super League second round this week, Salford is even more desperate to quickly turn things around.
Red Devils fans have so far not bought into Koukash's vision.
The flamboyant racehorse owner - who had a crack at winning Australia's premier staying race, the Melbourne Cup, recently - could do worse than pick up the phone and chase someone as highly respected as Sheens.
Koukash has publicly urged Salford fans to support his team which plays out of a 12,000-seat stadium, but has less than 1000 members.
He says he is trying to build a team capable of challenging for the title but admits to being "baffled" as to why supporters were not buying into his vision.
"I find it disappointing that fewer than 1000 season-tickets have been sold so far when I look at the squad I have brought together for 2015," he tweeted to his followers recently.
Along with Wayne Bennett, back coaching the Brisbane Broncos this year, Sheens is the most respected mentor in the country.
With a record of four NRL premierships from 669 NRL games and 27 wins from 30 Tests, he'd be just the man to build a winning culture for Koukash as a possible coaching director at the club where Welsh coach and former dual international Iestyn Harris is currently in charge.
Three NRL clubs - South Sydney, St George-Illawarra and Brisbane - will take part in the new World Club Challenge Series staged in England this month highlighting the importance Australian clubs have in growing the game in the UK.