The South Sydney Rabbitohs decided to part ways with head coach Michael Maguire after finishing in 12th position this season. With Neil Henry also losing his job only a few weeks earlier, what other coaches should be concerned about their positions?
Perhaps the most under pressure coach is Stephen Kearney.
The New Zealand Warriors have a quality spine which is made up of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Issac Luke, Shaun Johnson and Keiran Foran. To finish the season in 13th position with only seven victories can only be considered a disappointment. The Warriors have often struggled away from home, this year recording only one away victory.
Perhaps the club needs a different point of view as they have been unable to qualify for the finals since 2011 under Ivan Cleary.
Talk of Des Hasler being under pressure to retain his job has persisted throughout the entire season.
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have had a poor season, finishing in 11th place on the ladder and struggling with their attack for the majority of the year. Criticism for the Bulldogs has come hard and fast; many fans disappointed at the lack of evolution in the team’s offensive play. The Bulldogs have continually played finals football under Hasler, so missing out this year would surely hurt players and supporters alike.
Hasler is unlikely to survive into the 2018 season with the Bulldogs board expecting more from 2017 campaign. Dean Pay is heavily favoured to take over as head coach next season.
Paul McGregor’s mixed season also sees a question mark over his position.
Despite leading the competition early in the year, the St George Illawarra Dragons failed to make the finals, missing the playoffs by just one win. To go from such a commanding position with a team that was playing excellent attacking football to missing the finals completely is a failure.
There are positives for McGregor however. Recruits such as Cameron McInnes and Paul Vaughan have excelled for the Dragons and the side turned around their point scoring woes from 2016.
For these reasons, it is probable that the Dragons will persist with Paul McGregor into the 2018 season.
For the Newcastle Knights, who have now finished in 16th position three seasons in a row, discussions around hiring a new coach are to be expected. However, Nathan Brown, who was appointed in late 2015, has recruited well for 2018 and has developed a number of young players.
While it is possible the Newcastle board could look elsewhere for next season, it is unlikely given what Brown is building at the club.
The Canberra Raiders were another side that missed the 2017 finals series. The Raiders finished in 10th position on the ladder and Ricky Stuart and his side must be disappointed after their 2nd place finish in 2016.
With a number of last minute losses plaguing the Raiders season, it would be a harsh decision to sack Ricky Stuart.
There are a number of quality coaches currently not employed and looking for a job in the NRL ranks.
Geoff Toovey could easily return to coach in the NRL, while rumours persist that 2017 State of Origin coaches Kevin Walters and Laurie Daley are both looking at NRL level positions. In particular, Daley, who has parted ways with NSW quite recently. Michael Maguire, Neil Henry and any other sacked coaches would also be an option for clubs.
Michael Maguire, Neil Henry and any other sacked coaches would no doubt consider another head coach role if the opportunity arose. Other options include Chris Anderson, Ben and Shane Walker and Jason Demetriou.
Who do you think will be the next coach to be shown the door by their club? And the bigger question, who should replace them?