Mick Potter has already been in contact with members of the Wests Tigers backroom staff ahead of his expected unveiling as the NRL club’s new head coach later this week.
Potter is set to succeed 2005 premiership-winning mentor Tim Sheens, whose 10-year tenure with the joint-venture club came to an abrupt end last month when he was relieved of his coaching duties with two years left on his contract after the side failed to make the 2012 finals.
Sheens has been offered a new senior role at the club, though there has been no confirmation to date as to whether he will accept the position.
After initially being linked to Manly assistant coach Matt Parish, Potter – the former Catalans, St Helens and Bradford head coach – has emerged as the man to lead the Tigers in a new direction.
It is believed he will sign a two-year deal with the club.
Potter, 49, will have a battle ahead of him as he attempts to placate fans and sponsors unhappy with the direction of the financially embattled club.
The Tigers were early premiership favourites for the 2012 season before inconsistent performances ensured they failed to make the top eight.
Sheens’ unpopular decision to offload Beau Ryan and Chris Heighington resulted in a backlash from the playing group, while NSW hooker Robbie Farah – once considered part of the furniture at the Tigers – has been linked with a move to Parramatta in 2014.
New Zealand captain Benji Marshall is another whose future at the Tigers has also been the subject of increased scrutiny.
Potter comes highly regarded, having served his apprenticeship with four years as St George Illawarra’s Premier League coach.
He then had six years as a head coach in the Super League, steering Catalans to the 2007 Challenge Cup final when the former St George captain was named Super League coach of the year.