Mal Meninga has revealed he wants to remain as head coach of the Kangaroos as he gets set to ink a new deal keeping him in the top job.
Already having the backing of the ARL to continue on as coach, Meninga is set to sign a contract extension that will see him become one of the most-capped coaches in the history of the Australia national team, per News Corp.
It is understood that the International Rugby League's commitment to a seven-year schedule has convinced him to continue on. This means he will be in charge during an Ashes tour, World Cup tournament and Kangaroo tour by 2030.
“I believe this position is by invite only, but obviously I love what I do and I want to be part of it for a while longer,” Meninga said via News Corp.
“I am off-contract at the end of November this year. That's a question for the ARL Commission really (whether he signs a new deal), ultimately it's their decision.
“But I really enjoy the role.
“I feel like it's important for the game to recognise the prestige of the Australian jumper, that our best players are held in high esteem, and they understand the privilege of putting on that green and gold jersey on.
“I know the guys take great pride in playing for Australia. I'm really pleased they are leaving a legacy on this national team and it's a great privilege to coach the best players in the game.”
Surpassing Chris Anderson as the Kangaroos' fifth longest-serving coach on Saturday evening against the New Zealand Kiwis, he will likely overtake Frank Stanton, Clive Churchill and Tim Sheens if he leads the team to the Rugby League World Cup in 2026.
However, it is hard to see him overtake the legendary Bob Fulton, who managed to coach 40 Tests from 1989-1999.
“I think the next Kangaroo tour is in 2027 or 2028, so that's a fair while away. I'm not sure if I'll still be in charge for that,” Meninga added.
“I'm not an old man just yet, I'm exactly 10 years younger than Wayne Bennett.
“I don't predict I will be around in 2027, but it's nice to know there is a long-term international program in place and the players can set some goals on the international front.
“It's great for the international game to have more Tests. It's not only about helping our Pacific neighbours, we have to look at promoting and propagating the game in the northern hemisphere as well.
“We have that obligation and I'll support it in my role as Australian coach.”