LIVID Brisbane great Chris Johns has slammed Paul White’s handling of the NRL club’s coaching transition, saying the Broncos CEO should be “marched” if new mentor Anthony Seibold is not a success.
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Seibold is set to be officially confirmed as Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett’s successor from 2020 at a Broncos board meeting on Tuesday night ahead of fellow candidates Kevin Walters and Jason Demetriou.
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Two-time Broncos premiership winner Johns was gobsmacked that Brisbane had overlooked Walters and replaced South Sydney-bound Bennett with an “unproven coach”, saying White should go if the move was not successful.
Seibold is set to link with Brisbane from 2020 after steering South Sydney to the 2018 NRL preliminary final and earning Dally M Coach of the Year honours in his rookie season.
Bennett has committed to next year with Brisbane after signing a two-season deal with the Rabbitohs from 2020 but has not ruled out being asked to leave a year early by the Broncos board.
“Seibold is an unproven coach. South Sydney were one of the favourites to win the premiership and they choked but everyone is walking around saying he is the (Broncos’) heir apparent,” Johns told AAP.
“Look at Kev’s record. Everywhere he has coached he has had success.
“I can’t believe the decision they have made. If we don’t get success in the next few years Paul White should be the one marched.”
Johns was angry that Walters was not only brushed for the top job but also accused the Broncos of being disrespectful to their former premiership-winning skipper during the coaching interview process.
Johns even accused Brisbane of making up their mind about signing Seibold months ago.
“They have used him up. They have put a sham of a process together to put someone who is pre-ordained to go in there,” Johns said of Walters.
“Three committee members flew straight to Sydney to talk to Seibold then when they came back and went through the process with Kev, (director) Darren Lockyer wasn’t even going to go to the interview.
“That’s how much importance they put into that interview.
“Kev is the perfect fit. So what is the agenda? Why is Seibold ahead of Kev?”
Johns said Seibold and seven-time premiership winner Bennett should swap ahead of the 2019 season otherwise the next year would be a “circus”.
“You’ve now got the South Sydney coach thinking about what is going to happen with the Broncos and vice-versa, it’s absolute idiocy,” Johns said.
“(South Sydney football manager) Shane Richardson is no dummy, he grabbed Bennett and said ‘wow I have one of the greatest coaches of all time charting the club’s future.
“The Broncos threw that away for reasons I don’t know.”
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