It would appear the chance of Anthony Griffin hanging onto his job next year is slimming by the day, with constant reports he won't make the end of this season.
The Dragons have had a dismal start to the 2023 campaign after the first two seasons under Griffin both failed to materialise into a finals appearance.
The worst start of the three under Griffin has the joint venture sitting with just two wins from their nine games, and there is little doubt the board's decision to take up an option in their favour for 2023 before a ball had been kicked last year, combined with the fact they have asked Griffin to reapply for next year, has impacted the stability and harmony in Wollongong.
Reports have had former players Ryles, Dean Young and Ben Hornby, as well as Des Hasler and Shane Flanagan linked heavily to the job, but The Sydney Morning Herald are now reporting that Ryles is the leading contender.
At one stage, it was understood Ryles would not leave his current job as an assistant coach to Trent Robinson at the Sydney Roosters before the end of his deal in 2024 under any circusmtances, but that has now changed.
It's believed he would go with the Roosters blessing, as his predecessor Craig Fitzgibbon did at the end of 2021 when he joined the Sharks.
Ryles has had an apprenticeship under both Craig Bellamy at the Storm and Robinson at the Roosters, and spent the best part of his career at the Dragons when playing.
It's understood the Storm are still in the hunt for Ryles next year should Craig Bellamy elect to hang up the clipboard, with the Storm also chasing Queensland Maroons State of Origin coach Billy Slater and Brett White, who is currently an assistant at the Gold Coast Titans, as other possible options.
Bellamy is no sure thing of hanging up the clipboard at the end of the year though, and a job back at hois old club is believed to be enticing to Ryles, who met with Dragons' officials earlier this week according to the report.
The Dragons are said to be stating that no formal interviews have taken place.