Former Knights coach Rick Stone has been approached to take the reins at Newcastle premiership-winning club Western Suburbs following the departure of Matt Lantry to Maitland.
The Rosellas are on the hunt for a new coach following Lantry's decision to walk away from the job after three seasons in charge, culminating in Sunday's 36-0 demolition of Cessnock in the decider at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Stone and his family were at the game to see son Ben score the opening try of the grandfinal and play a big part in Wests' devastating win.
But the Newcastle Herald has been told Stone may not be just a spectator again next season with the coaching job believed to be his if he wants it.
Wests Group boss Phil Gardner, who spoke to the ex-Knights coach on Sunday night after the game, was cagey when asked about the likelihood of Stone coaching the Rosellas in 2020. But he did confirm an approach has been made by the club.
"He has certainly been approached by a member of our football club executive,"Gardner said.
"I'm not sure where it's at or whether he wants to coach locally. Rick was there with both his boys Ben and Sam on Sunday night and told me he was really enjoying coaching the girls. But he's obviously someone we would be very interested in. The job will be advertised again this weekend but it's pretty clear Rick would have easily the best credentials of anyone in this town.
It's pretty clear Rick would have easily the best credentials of anyone in this town.Wests Group boss Phil Gardner
"What I would say is the executive of the football club will be making a recommendation pretty soon on the position."
Stone, who spent almost four years at the helm of the Knights in two separate stints before taking the Huddersfield Giants coaching job in 2016 for a further three seasons in the English Super League, is currently coaching the Sydney Roosters in the NRL Women's premiership.
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The Roosters need to beat St George Illawarra by a decent margin this weekend and rely on the Broncos to defeat the Warriors to reach the decider after losing their opening two games.
Prior to his current gig, Stone took CRL Newcastle to their maiden NSWRL women's premiership earlier this season.
Rosellas officials will be keen to make a coaching appointment as soon as possible with whoever gets the job likely to have a major say in the club keeping the bulk of their premiership-winning squad together for next year's defence.
Experienced former NRL players Mark Taufua and Brad Tighe are already set to retire while Lantry may well attract some players to the Pickers.
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