Leeds Rhinos: ‘Carry on Mac’ is the message from Hall

Zak Hardaker
Zak Hardaker
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LEEDS RHINOS winger Ryan Hall wants Steve McNamara to stay on as England coach.

McNamara’s contract expired after the 20-14 win over New Zealand three days ago, which sealed a 2-1 Test series triumph against the world’s No 1 ranked team.

Ryan Hall

Ryan Hall

The former Wakefield Trinity Wildcats player and Bradford Bulls boss refused to discuss his situation after the game and declined even to say if he wants to stay on.

But Hall feels McNamara is taking England forward and would like to see him in charge when the national side return to action in a Four Nations tournament next year.

“I have always enjoyed my time under Steve,” Hall said. “He has shown great faith in me, I think he has played me in every game he’s had the opportunity to.

“Finally we’ve got something to show for it at the end of his term. Hopefully, he will want to carry that momentum on.”

McNamara – who has been in charge since 2010 – plans to review the tournament and speak to “the relevant people” before making a decision on his future.

“It is a huge honour to represent your country,” he said. “We all feel strongly about it, players, coaches and backroom staff.

“It is the finest thing you can possibly do, but these issues are something I will deal with post-tournament. These things aren’t simple and I am in no rush.”

An RFL spokesman said it could be next year before a decision is taken on whether McNamara’s contract will be renewed.

This month’s win over the Kiwis was McNamara’s first tournament victory against southern hemisphere opposition.

Hall also broke his duck in a major series and believes England will go into next year and the 2017 World Cup in good shape.

England won the opening Test 26-12 and were beaten 9-2 in the second game, but their pack dominated against big and powerful opposition, who are the current Four Nations champions.

In the three matches, England conceded only six tries, two of those in the final moments of the decider, but England’s backs were starved of ball and did not score any of the hosts’ seven touchdowns.

Hall insisted winning the series was more important than getting on the scoresheet and he reckons the way England defended will stand them in good stead for the future.

“It has been a long time coming for me, personally,” said the Rhinos man. “I had never won anything major before at international level coming into this series. I’d got victories over France and Wales, but never against a team from the southern hemisphere.

“Finally we’ve done it and that was very pleasing for me. Defence has been a bit of a theme for us. It didn’t really get shown up in the first game, but in the second our defence was on point and that is something we thrive off.

“We have to defend as well as attack and our defence is good. That’s a starting point to go on and win further silverware.”