Shane Flanagan placed on deputy duties
SHANE Flanagan's return as an NRL head coach won't happen until at least the 2022 season.
But the Cronulla-Sutherland premiership-winning coach is expected to be allowed to return to the game in December as an assistant coach.
It is understood Flanagan will need to spend two seasons - 2020 and 2021 - as an assistant coach before he is given the green light to resume a head coaching role.
The Australian Rugby League Commission met on Thursday and part of the discussion centred around Flanagan's future.
While the final decision will be left to NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg, Sport Confidential has learnt the commission has recommended he be gradually reintroduced in the game.
Flanagan has been linked with the St George Illawarra Dragons.
Greenberg will meet with Flanagan and make a decision before the end of the season so that Flanagan will finally have clarity about this future.
In December, Flanagan will have been sidelined from the game for 12 months.
But there will be strict conditions put on him to ensure he does not overstep the boundaries of an assistant coach and that he puts time into junior rugby league - something he did during his time at the Sharks.
Flanagan was banned from the NRL indefinitely after a salary cap audit of Cronulla found the coach had breached the terms of his year-long suspension in 2014.
He recently wrote a 10-page letter of apology to Greenberg and the commissioners.
KNIGHTS HOPING TO STORM PREMIERSHIP
NEWCASTLE'S new coaching staff will certainly have a Melbourne Storm feel about it next season.
Incoming coach Adam O'Brien was inducted as a Storm life member before joining the Roosters this year. He has appointed former Storm players Rory Kostjasyn and Eric Smith to his Knights staff as development coaches.
Kostjasyn was already part of the Knights' set-up but Smith will arrive in the preseason.
Smith has been the Storm's pathways coach and coached the club's under-20s. He is also coach of the Sunshine Coast Falcons, who this weekend are playing for a spot in the Queensland Cup grand final.
They will join David Furner and Willie Peters, who are O'Brien's NRL assistants. The pair worked at South Sydney last year. Scott Dureau will head up the Knights' junior development.
LISTEN! Matty, Finchy and Kenty address "Pokies-gate" and the Broncos' self-combustion, Joey Leilua's fireworks mishap, and how Wayne Bennett and Des Hasler know exactly how to get the best out of their individuals. PLUS, the Roosters had a sleepover at the SCG?!