Disgraced Cronulla Sharks premiership coach Shane Flanagan will be allowed back into the NRL in an assistant coaching role in season 2020.
The NRL released a statement on Friday confirming that Flanagan would be eligible for registration as an assistant coach in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, starting from 18 December 2019.
Flanagan and any club that hires him will have to comply with a range of NRL conditions. Flanagan won’t be eligible to become a senior coach again until at least the end of this two-year period.
“Today I met with the NRL and I both respect and accept the course of action they have taken,” said Flanagan.
“I look forward to returning to the coaching ranks, firstly as an assistant coach and hopefully one day a head coach again.”
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the decision had been reached after extensive conversation with Flanagan.
“I have spoken to Shane at length and he has expressed significant remorse and accepted responsibility for his past actions and the detrimental impact they have had on the game,” said Greenberg.
“We have created a pathway for Shane to return to the coaching ranks. Today’s decision gives Shane an opportunity to be registered in the NRL.
“This is not a set and forget approach. Shane and any future club who employs him has numerous conditions which they must comply with and the Integrity Unit will continue to monitor his conduct over the next two seasons.”
In December last year Flanagan was de-registered from coaching in the NRL when it was found that he had failed to adhere to the conditions of his 2014 suspension.
On that occasion, Flanagan had been suspended from coaching for 12 months following his role in the 2011 Cronulla Sharks supplements scandal.
It was discovered that Flanagan had exchanged emails with the club and its football department throughout the term of his suspension, contradicting the conditions of his ban.
The Sharks were also fined $800,000 for the incident.