The contenders to take over as Titans coach

The NRL will have to rubber stamp the Gold Coast Titans' coaching appointment and the value of the contract as the club moves to appoint a successor to Neil Henry.

It's the same reason Jarryd Hayne is expected to remain at the NRL-owned Titans in 2018, despite the unrest the NSW centre has caused at the club since joining last year.

With the NRL desperate to sell the Titans, a $1.2 million payout to Hayne could scare off potential buyers and is expected to result in the fullback seeing out his final season at the club.

The Titans sought the approval of the NRL bean counters when deciding to trigger Henry's $400,000 contract termination payout, and will have to do so again when they decide on a coach to lead the club into the future.

But who can handle the enigmatic Hayne is a question the Titans board will no doubt be asking when it begins planning life after Henry.


Garth Brennan (Panthers)

There's no other NRL coach-in-waiting with a better record than Penrith's Garth Brennan. While Phil Gould gets plenty of credit for the juniors out at Penrith, there isn't a player in the current side that has come through the club's junior system without having been influenced by Brennan. The recently-appointed Kiwi assistant coach led the 2013 NYC Panthers team, including Bryce Cartwright, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Isaah Yeo, to a premiership. He's also won silverware in the NSW Cup. Considered one of the best development coaches in the game.

Des Hasler (Bulldogs)

Des Hasler wouldn't get out of bed for what the Titans would usually spend on a coach, but the situation out at Canterbury will make for an interesting few weeks. There's a strong chance Hasler will be punted by the Bulldogs at the end of this season and leave with a million-dollar payout. He can wait for a high-profile club to offer him a big dollar contract, which could take 12 months, or he can take on a job at the Titans and use his Canterbury payout to compensate for what he misses out on at the Titans.

Kevin Walters (Queensland)

After two consecutive Origin series victories with Queensland, Kevin Walters has put his name up in lights. He is contracted as the Maroons coach for another year, but Queensland Rugby League won't stand in his way if he decides he wants to take control of an NRL club. Hasn't put a foot wrong since taking over the Maroons from Mal Meninga and could be pivotal in keeping Ash Taylor at the club beyond the end of next season.

Adam O'Brien (Melbourne)

??????Craig Bellamy's right-hand man at the Storm is one of the contenders for the job as Henry's successor. O'Brien has played a huge part in the development of the Storm's younger players - including Cameron Munster - and has since been promoted to NRL assistant coach. He has been in the Melbourne system for 10 years, coaching under Brad Arthur and Dean Pay when they were in charge of the club's NYC team. Recently knocked back the St Helen's job in England to remain at the Storm.

???Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters)

The former Dragons and Roosters back-rower is a candidate for the NSW Origin job should Laurie Daley not survive the Blues review. He has impressed during his time as City Origin coach and has earned plenty of admirers for the way he has handled himself at the Sydney Roosters.

Anthony Seibold (Rabbitohs)

Another coach to come through the Craig Bellamy system at the Storm. Anthony Seibold spent some time with the Storm before joining Manly. He's followed Michael Maguire to South Sydney this year and is also the Queensland assistant coach.

Others in the mix: Michael Maguire, Geoff Toovey, Adrian Lam

This story The contenders to take over as Titans coach first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.