CASTLEFORD Tigers’ Daryl Powell has revealed he would be interested in taking the England head coach role if Wayne Bennett does not continue in the post.
England reached their first World Cup final in 22 years before ultimately going down 6-0 against Australia on Saturday so the long wait for a first success since 1972 continues.
Bennett, 67, has now seen his two-year deal come to an end and it is unclear whether the Australian will seek to carry on in the job.
Powell, who led Castleford to a maiden League Leaders’ Shield and Grand Final this season, has long been touted as the likely Great Britain coach when they reform to tour Australia in 2019.
He told The Yorkshire Post: “I’ve not spoken to anyone about that. I’m not sure what the time scales are for what they want to do. But clearly I would be interested as it would be the top of the ladder in terms of the coaching perspective.
“If you have any ambitions at all, you want to be coaching there. If opportunity ever came along I’d certainly be interested – and the same with England as it’s almost the same job.”
Asked if he would be keen now if Bennett was not retained by the RFL, the 52-year-old said: “Obviously, there’s a lot of good coaches around in this country. There’s more English coaches in Super League now than there has been for a long time.
“We’re fighting a battle to continually improve. England is a big job and a special one so I’d be pretty foolish not to be interested if it did come up.
“Wayne has done a pretty tidy job. He’s done a lot of good things in the World Cup.
“There was maybe a couple of things with his team selections which were debatable, but then it’s hard to argue when you’re coming up just short in a World Cup final versus Australia.
“There’s lots of things to love about England in this tournament, but I thought they probably should have won it.
“A little bit of composure and execution in key positions is where we fell down a little bit.
“If we’d been a little bit more clinical we would have won it.”
Ex-Great Britain stand-off Powell, who would only be interested if he could combine his role with Castleford, added: “If Bennett did stay, it would give them some stability.
“There is potential there, I think. But I’m torn.
“I think there should be a lot of confidence we can do the job, but I have a different philosophy to Wayne.
“He’s been a massively successful coach in Australia without a shadow of a doubt and the England players are really happy with him.
“He’s created a vibe that the players have grown off. In terms of hanging tough and being there right until the end, you could see the spirit and togetherness about the whole thing.
“But we got beat by the Aussies playing their game a little bit better than us.
“Now, everyone has their own ideas. But we have our own identity here – or we should have – and that is a little bit different to what they produce.
“I think our half-backs should be able to play a little bit differently to the Aussies.
“Obviously, there’s a balance between playing and creating pressure but I do think we have to play our own way.”