The St George Illawarra Dragons may have reportedly made Jason Ryles the clear front-runner to become their next head coach, but it would appear Ryles himself is now getting cold feet.
Reportedly, after meetings between the current Sydney Roosters' assistant's management and the Dragons' board, the deal was all but done despite roadblocks put in the way by Ryles.
The assistant coach requested a five-year contract and complete control over the club's staffing and player roster - something the Dragons' board have been unwilling to dish out previously to coaches.
Ryles, who was also in line for the Melbourne Storm job before Craig Bellamy elected to go around for another season as part of his year-by-year situation in the Victorian capital, has reportedly been told that on the back of the negotiations, he will not be in Trent Robinson's staff next year.
Despite that, News Corp's David Riccio told Fox Sports show NRL 360 on Tuesday evening that there had been no movement on Ryles signing a deal with concerns around the football structure believed to be behind the trepidation.
“There has certainly been no movement and that's concerning for me if I'm a St George Illawarra fan that wants to see Jason Ryles get there,” Riccio said on NRL360 on Tuesday night.
“I can tell you today that there's been no movement from Jason Ryles to go ahead and take this job.
“He has certainly got concerns around the club's football structure.
“This is a rookie coach that does not want to walk in to a club that does not have a general manager of football and a head of recruitment that he has trust and faith in that can help his career."
Ben Hornby and Dean Young, who alongside Ryles are former players for the club, are the other two coaches believed to be in the mix - the pair are also current assistant coaches in the NRL with the South Sydney Rabbitohs and North Queensland Cowboys respectively.
If the Roosters don’t want him next year, he could do worse than see if there is a vacant Assistant Coach job at the Storm.
Taking over at the Dragons is a job for an experience head coach, not a rookie. The situation is quite different to, say, Craig Fitzgibbon going to the Sharks. They had a better roster and a better culture, and a better “pathways” system with the successful Newtown Jets as the feeder club.
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