By STEVE MASCORD
ENGLAND coach Steve McNamara is likely to be left waiting until early next year before he learns if he has kept his job.
Players rallied behind McNamara after he enjoyed his biggest triumph in the role on Saturday with a series-deciding 20-14 win over New Zealand at Wigan’s DW Stadium. His contract expired at full-time
“There is no time frame as such for a decision,” a Rugby Football League spokesman told The Telegraph.
“At some point in the future we will sit down with Steve and discuss how the team is going and where Steve sees it going. Both parties are happy with this process
“But as for when we will have more to say on the matter, it would probably be months rather than weeks. Perhaps early next year.”
Because McNamara is based in Sydney with the Roosters, it is likely some preliminary talks will take place before he returns to Australia but last night’s statements basically rule out a celebratory short-term reappointment.
The scrum-half Matty Smith, named man of the match after his only appearance in the series, suggested McNamara should at least be retained for another year.
“Why change it?’ he said.
“We’ve got a young squad. He’s picked form players. He’s not picked players who are not in form. I think he should get it – especially for next year. Maybe see how we go for next year.
“It’s not all about the coaches.”
The RFL spokesman said last night no term had yet been discussed but given that there is a World Cup in 2017, an appointment of fewer than two years would seem extremely unlikely.
Next year England hosts Scotland, Australia and New Zealand in a Four Nations. While New Zealand were dramatically under strength in this series, their co-captain Issac Luke warned England would also be a tougher proposition.
“It’s going to be awesome,”said Issac Luke. “England will have big Sammy (Burgess) back, we’ll hopefully have a few guys come in and the Aussies will be trying hard to get back to number one.”
McNamara said: “We’ve got quality to add to our group. We’ve got experience to add. The signs are pretty good, particularly since we’ve finally got over the line in a major series.
“Internationals are too tough to make any sorts of statements about dominating for any period of time.You can’t do that. The team we have just played fought tooth and nail over the course of this series. Australia are a very strong team and are making steps to get stronger.
“So you can’t make outlandish statements.”
Asked how he views the post of national coach, the former second rower said: “It’s a huge honour, not just coaching your country but playing for your country, captaining your country. We’ve got our kit man, he’s the kit man who represents England and he’s the proudest man ever,
“When you are involved representing your country, it is the proudest thing you can do.”
England withstood a late rally from the Kiwis to lift their first major title since 2007.
Prop Tom Burgess said: “If we could get the attack from the first week and the defence from the second and put them together … that was our view on it.”
Filed for: DAILY TELEGRAPH (UK)