The Wests Tigers are about to do it again.
Multiple reports indicate that the Wests Tigers are about to relieve Michael Maguire of his role as coach of the club.
The old 'fire the coach' quick fix.
The very same quick fix that has failed to propel the Tigers to the finals for a literal decade now.
Why the Tigers would remove a premiership-winning coach without an obvious replacement option standing above the rest is a question for another time but it did kick-off some thinking.
Who is the next cab off the ranks when it comes to the next NRL coach?
Craig Fitzgibbon has long been the assistant coach chased by multiple clubs and offered a full-time first grade coaching job.
Now that he has committed his future to the Sharks, who does it leave?
Below are five options I believe are ready to step either up, or back into, a first grade coaching gig. Potentially even the Tigers top job
1. Cameron Ciraldo
For as long as I can remember, there have been two young assistants who are largely considered the next break out coaches.
The aforementioned Craig Fitzgibbon and former Penrith caretaker Cameron Ciraldo.
Ciraldo comes with a tremendous pedigree. He was supposedly chased, hard, by the Sharks, to form a super coaching team with Fitzgibbon.
Penrith players celebrated as if they had just won a huge game when Ciraldo announced he was staying in his role for 2021.
Ciraldo is undoubtedly the best young coach on the market. At only 36 years-of-age Ciraldo has many, many years ahead of him coaching wise.
If he wins a title as assistant coach his value will rise yet again. Not that I don't fully expect the Tigers to throw themselves as him as is.
Ciraldo handled a very difficult circumstance extremely well in 2018. He was handed the top job, on a part time basis, weeks out from the finals. He oversaw them as they came within a point of a preliminary final.
If Ciraldo is available, and you have to believe only a first grade coaching gig would convince him to leave his current role, then I believe he will quickly become the most sought after option.