Flanagan returns to coaching with PNG

June 27, 2022 - 5:07 PM

Shane Flanagan will be given a chance to press his claims for a future NRL head coaching job after being named coaching director of the Papua New Guinea national team.

Flanagan will act as a sounding board to Stanley Tepend, who replaces longstanding coach Michael Marum after he stood down earlier this year to explore a career in politics.

Flanagan, who won a premiership with Cronulla in 2016, was deregistered by the NRL in 2018 after it emerged he breached the terms of a 2014 ban stemming from the Sharks' supplement program scandal.

The 56-year-old has been employed by St George Illawarra since his registration was reinstated by the NRL in 2020 and works as part of the club's recruitment and retention team.

His contract with the Kumuls lasts until the end of 2022 and his addition to Tepend's staff may prove crucial in convincing Dragons lock Jack de Belin to play for PNG in an upcoming Test against Fiji before a World Cup later this year.

"I'm really excited about it, I think I can help the PNG team," Flanagan said.

"There's a Test match in Fiji soon leading into the World Cup, and I'm there to help and give advice."

PNG are currently fifth in the game's international rankings.