SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 08: Former first grade coach David Furner looks on during the round 22 NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the North Queensland Cowboys at Remondis Stadium on August 8, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

The hunt for the vacant Knights coaching role is no longer a one-horse race, with three new names now in contention, joining short-priced favourite Adam O'Brien for the job.

O'Brien has been tipped to sign a three-year contract with the Knights, with the job becoming available following the departure of Nathan Brown.

The former Melbourne Storm assistant coach was formally interviewed for the Knights job on Wednesday night, as he met with the Wests Group board in Newcastle.

It has since been revealed that O'Brien wasn't the first candidate to be given an interview, with Knights CEO confirming former Canberra coach David Furner sat down with the board on Monday, according to the Herald. 

The former Kangaroos assistant will rival O'Brien for the role, with the final decision to be made by the Wests Group.

Gardner noted that the club hopes to conduct interviews with Storm assistant Jason Ryles and Penrith assistant Cameron Ciraldo before appointing Brown's replacement.

"I know Jason has already said he wouldn't be taking part in the process but we'll be reaching out to him again and also to Cameron Ciraldo," Gardner told the Herald.

"We'd like to interview them both. I'd like them to meet the board as well and that's the process we are going through.

"One of the problems we've had is the rumour mill in Sydney has been spruiking it is a done deal and that has stopped people putting their hand up.
"So we are going back to some of those personally who have declined and double-checking with them that they definitely don't want the opportunity for an interview. We want to make sure that anyone who thought it was a done deal knows that it isn't the case.
"When that's all done, if they put their hand up and want an opportunity, we will interview them. Ultimately, the decision on the coach will rest with the board. It will not be my decision."

Gardner expressed his delight following the interviews with both O'Brien and Furner, who reportedly impressed the Knights CEO.

Furner spent close to five seasons with Canberra in their leading role and was an assistant with the Kangaroos, Cowboys and Rabbitohs.

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