Sheens uncertain on coaching future

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Tim Sheens admits he’s unsure he’s about his future as Australian rugby league team coach after masterminding their Four Nations triumph in England.

The 61-year-old Sheens admits he would have felt compelled to quit had his side lost Saturday’s Four Nations final to England in Darren Lockyer’s farewell match.

But the 30-8 win in the final at Elland Road saw his team make amends for their one loss in his three-year, 16-Test reign – to New Zealand in last year’s Four Nations decider.

Sheens was coy about his own wishes and uncertain whether he would be offered the role, which would almost certainly take him through until the 2013 World Cup in England.

He has yet to take a team to a World Cup.

There’s no international tournament before then, with the Four Nations on hold until 2014.

“You would imagine the new (NRL) commission will have taken control of the ARL by then,” Sheens said.

“Who will be where nobody knows.

“I’m not really thinking too much about it. I’m just enjoying this moment.

“It will be nice to have bragging rights for the next three years.”

Sheens was immensely satisfied as well as relieved after the triumph over England in front of a sell-out Leeds crowd.

He said planning for the tournament had been especially difficult with so many players being forced to withdraw due to injury and personal issues.

The veteran coach lost Petero Civoniceva, Jarryd Hayne, Glenn Stewart, Brett Morris and David Taylor before arriving in Britain, raising questions about the strength of his squad.

He then had to overcome the loss of Billy Slater to a broken collarbone, Robbie Farah due to family reasons and centre Willie Tonga with a torn pectoral muscle.

“It is very satisfying not just to win, but because of the pressure that was on us to win,” Sheens said.

“There was a fair bit of garbage thrown around about the team and we’ve come through that.

“But I think the success we’ve had here demonstrates the strength in depth we have in the NRL.”

Sheens also paid tribute to his medical staff, who faced a race against time before the final to get Johnathan Thurston fit from a hamstring injury.

“I made a point of bringing two physios and one less coach this time around,” Sheens said.

“And I am so glad I did. They have worked overtime during this tour and I can’t pay them enough credit.

“JT was gone. We trained without him and we working on ways to play without him.

“But they got him right and thankfully he was. He was fantastic.”

© AAP 2014
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