Former Australian Test coach Tim Sheens has been officially sounded out by the Newcastle Knights to become part of the club's new coaching structure in the wake of rookie Adam O'Brien's appointment as head coach for the next three years.
Sheens, who coached for 28 seasons in the NRL at Penrith, Canberra, North Queensland and Wests Tigers, winning four premierships, has told Knights CEO Phil Gardner he is keen to be involved in a coaching director-type role next season.
But Gardner said any decision on Sheens' possible appointment will rest with O'Brien.
"Adam's got to come in and decide exactly what he wants as far as the coaching staff is concerned," Gardner said.
"The position, if it is created, clearly has to go to someone he is comfortable with. It comes back to making sure we put the right support around Adam but at the same time, he has to be comfortable with it - he's the head coach so ultimately, it will be his call."
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Sheens, who won three premierships with Canberra and another with Wests Tigers, was in charge of the Kangaroos from 2009 to 2015 and finished with a record of 26 wins from 31 Tests including the 2013 World Cup triumph in England.
He has spent the past five years in England, firstly as director of rugby league at Salford before coaching the relegated Hull KR back into the Super League in 2017. He parted company with the club three months ago.
Gardner and Knights director of football Brian Canavan spoke with the 68-year-old on Monday to gauge his level of interest in a job at the club on the recommendation of former player Matty Johns and out-going coach Nathan Brown.
"Tim certainly showed an interest in being involved," Gardner said. "But like I've already said, it will be up to Adam in consultation with BC [Canavan]." Canavan said no coaching support staff had been decided on as yet.
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