Gleeson: Give England reins to Scully

Paul Sculthorpe receiving his Member of the British Empire (MBE) medal
Paul Sculthorpe receiving his Member of the British Empire (MBE) medal

FORMER Wigan and Great Britain centre Martin Gleeson reckons it’s time England ditched Steve McNamara - and hand the role to legend Paul Sculthorpe.

In his latest Wigan Observer column, he reflected on the national team’s failure to reach the Four Nations final and called for change.

He said: “I still remain convinced we had the players to do the job, but not the tactics. And months and years from now, we will look back on this Four Nations and see what a massive missed opportunity it was.

“The age of this England side does bode well, moving forward. But I think we need a new coach to take them forward.

“Steve McNamara has won one of nine Tests against the Aussies and Kiwis.

“He’s been given plenty of time and he’s had a good crack at it, and England are going close to beating them.

“But I think we need someone now to take them that extra 10 per cent, to get them over the line.

“There are some strong coaching candidates out there. Daryl Powell and Shaun Wane have been mentioned as possible contenders, and it’s hard to argue with either of them.

“But if I was in charge, I would go a bit left-field and appoint Paul Sculthorpe to the role.

“He isn’t tied to a club, he’s been there and done it, he talks sense, and he could inspire the players.

“I know Scully isn’t coaching in Super League, but at Test level, players need very little coaching – they need managing and inspiring.

“Look at State of Origin. Mal Meninga and Laurie Daley don’t coach at club level, while the Australia coach Tim Sheens hasn’t had an NRL role for a long time.

“Scully would be the perfect person to lead England.”