Sport

Who's in line for Tigers job?

Tigers coach Jason Taylor is set to be sacked, according to reports.
Tigers coach Jason Taylor is set to be sacked, according to reports. PAUL MILLER

WE knew Jason Taylor was under pressure, we just didn't know how much.

After three eventful seasons, Taylor's reign in charge of the Tigers is over after just three matches of the 2017 season, making it the earliest coach firing since Matthew Elliott lasted five matches in charge of the Warriors in 2014.

Here are some of the candidates to take over the battling club.

TODD PAYTEN

A former assistant at the Tigers, Payten is currently working with North Queensland but was an assistant and lower grade coach at the Tigers. He led the joint venture's under-20s side to a premiership in 2012 and guided the NSW under-18s to back-to-back wins over Queensland in 2013 and 2014.

Cowboys assistant coach Todd Payten is a front-runner for the Tigers job.

After moving to the Cowboys, Payten guided their under-20s side to the minor premiership in 2015 before joining Paul Green's staff as an assistant.

Payten was in consideration to replace Mick Potter when he was sacked in 2014 but was overlooked.

The 2005 premiership winner can be considered the favourite for the job - he's still very popular with the playing group.

IVAN CLEARY

Cleary is the best credentialed candidate, having steered the Warriors to the 2011 grand final and took Penrith to a preliminary final in 2014 before he was surprisingly sacked at the end of 2015.

The best coach currently without a club, Cleary has been linked with a move to the Dragons in the past and has a proven track record with young playmakers, as evidenced by his work with Shaun Johnson in the Kiwi superstar's rookie season in 2011 and Matt Moylan in 2014.

GEOFF TOOVEY

Toovey is currently coaching fallen English powerhouse Bradford but the Tigers would be foolish not to look into landing the former Manly mentor.

The 47-year old steered the Sea Eagles to the 2013 grand final after taking over from Des Hasler and only missed the finals once in his four-year tenure with the Silvertails.

Toovey's Manly sides were underlined by exemplary mental and physical toughness, qualities the Tigers needs in droves.

THE WALKER BROTHERS

Ben and Shane Walker's stock took a little bit of a dip last season but if the Tigers want an unorthodox choice the Ipswich Jets duo could be the way to go.

The Jets' stirring run to the State Championship in 2015, and their thumping victory over the Knights, underlined the effectiveness of the Walker brothers' attacking philosophy.

While Ipswich suffered a downturn in 2016 the idea of turning over the attacking skills of Luke Brooks, Mitch Moses, James Tedesco and David Nofoaluma to two mad scientists of offensive rugby league is certainly intriguing.

ANDREW WEBSTER/PAUL STRINGER

The two most low-key choices, Webster, who will be interim coach, has vast amounts of experience in the Tigers lower grades and also spent two years as an assistant to Andrew McFadden in New Zealand.

He steered the Tigers 2014 under-20s side to the semi-finals and was an assistant at English club Hull KR from 2006 to 2011.

Former Eels and Rabbitohs prop Stringer coached Wyong Roos from 2007-13 before joining the Tigers, where he coached their NSW Cup side in 2016.

Stringer and Webster shape as likely interim appointments but a good run of form could see them appointed permanently.

Topics:  jason taylor nrl2017 wests tigers


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