Never finished bottom four: Bennett faces greatest coaching challenge getting Dolphins off the ground
Wayne Bennett has never finished in the bottom four as a coach, next year that might change the way things are looking.
ARL Commission chairman John Grant expects ASADA to deliver its final report into the possible use of banned substances by NRL players “reasonably soon”, confirming interviews have been completed.
Grant delivered the update while announcing the Australian squad for the Rugby League World Cup and he admitted contingency plans had already been discussed should the investigation outcomes affect any Kangaroos players at the tournament starting October 26.
Cronulla have been at the centre of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority’s investigation over possible use of banned drugs during the 2011 season.
Sharks skipper Paul Gallen was named vice-captain in Australia’s 24-man World Cup squad.
Grant said it was impossible to premeditate the outcome of ASADA’s report.
“That investigation is in the final stages,” Grant said.
“The interviews have been completed and it’s fair to say we’re expecting a final report from ASADA – I can’t say the time frame – but reasonably soon.
“On the basis of that final report we’ll take whatever actions from a commission point of view are appropriate.
“If in fact there is a situation that does come where there is an infraction notice issued against a player in the squad, there’s a process within the Rugby League World Cup rules where a nation can apply to have a replacement, but that’s to be determined at that time.
“One step at a time I guess. It’s not in the foreground of our thinking in picking this squad, it’s something that’s hanging in the background.”
But given as many as 120 NRL players are expected to take part in the World Cup, the ASADA report could quickly have a significant impact on the tournament, depeneding on the outcomes.
Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens said he was not concerning himself with what may or may not happen as part of the investigation.
“You never get ahead of yourself in this business so it’s about playing football with the team we’ve picked,” Sheens said.
“If something happens, we’ll consider what happens at that point.
“The team’s job is to go out there and win football games.”