Kangaroos job between Sheens and Hasler Glenn Jackson | February 24, 2009 ST GEORGE Illawarra have ruled a line through the prospect of Wayne Bennett taking the Australian coaching role, making it a race between Tim Sheens and Des Hasler for the job. The 10-man Australian Rugby League board will decide on a replacement for Ricky Stuart today. The Sharks coach was sacked after his heated exchange with referee Ashley Klein following the Kangaroos' World Cup final loss last November. Sheens and Hasler are believed to be the only viable options after Dragons chief executive Peter Doust effectively ruled out Bennett. The ARL directors have appeared to go cool on Titans coach John Cartwright. Queensland directors will press ahead with plans to have Queensland coach Mal Meninga installed by attempting to convince the board to abolish its policy of not allowing a state coach to take charge of the national side. But with NSW directors recently endorsing the policy and holding the numbers in the boardroom, the Queenslanders are likely to fail. "We'll still be pushing ahead with that," said John McDonald, the QRL chairman. "In 2009, I don't think there should be any restriction. "You'd like to have a coach who's not associated with a team, but the person in charge must be up to speed with what's going on. I think Mal's the best man for the job and I think the players deserve that." McDonald said the Queensland directors would not be voting as a bloc on a candidate should their attempts to have Meninga endorsed fail and have not even discussed other options, making it a virtual toss-up as to who the board would opt for between the Wests Tigers and Sea Eagles mentors. "We'll go in there with an open mind," McDonald said. "Tim Sheens and Des Hasler have both got good credentials, as have others." The decision will be made today by Colin Love, Bob Millward, Barry Pierce, Terry Quinn, John Chalk, Geoff Carr and their Queensland counterparts McDonald, Ross Livermore, Terry Mackenroth and Peter Betros. An announcement is expected soon after, provided the anointed coach accepts the role. "I've had a couple of yarns with a couple of coaches, but this is not by application, it's by invitation," Carr said. "The reason why it's such an open discussion is there's no out-and-out favourite. There are a lot of quality coaches. We like to have the best coach." Doust strongly suggested Bennett would decline any offer, even after withdrawing from his assistant's role with the New Zealand team just days before today's meeting. "I haven't discussed it with him, so I think it's fair to say I don't think he has any intention of coaching at representative level this year," Doust said. Asked whether the club would allow Bennett to coach the Kangaroos, he said: "That's irrelevant." Livermore added: "I haven't spoken to Wayne about it and I'd be surprised if he was keen because he said he wanted to concentrate on St George Illawarra. If he won't have time for the New Zealand team he won't have time for the Australian team. I don't think Wayne will be putting his hat in the ring." Meanwhile, the NRL board yesterday endorsed chief executive David Gallop's hardline stance over Wests Tigers star Benji Marshall's wish to play an off-season in Japan. Marshall is off contract at the this year and hopes to sign on for a lucrative stint in Japan before returning to the Tigers next year and beyond. "The board's view is that rugby league is not a part-time occupation," Gallop said. Ads by Google Balmain Rugby 2009 Players, Coaches, Managers needed Australia's fastest growing club!