KEIRON Cunningham thinks Shaun Wane would have been a better shout to lead England than Aussie super-coach Wayne Bennett.
The Saints coach said it was ‘embarrassing’ English coaches were overlooked in favour of Bennett, the most successful coach in Australian rugby league history.
And he went on to suggest Wane, along with Leeds coach Brian McDermott, would be better candidates to lead England.
“I would look no further than Brian Mac and then maybe Wigan’s Shaun Wane, provided they were interested in the job,” Cunningham said.
“Both have a winning ethos and would be ideal candidates.”
Cunningham feels the RFL should not have ushered Bennett in as McNamara’s replacement when Super League’s leading coaches are English.
“I think we’ve got out of that ethos of bringing 6,000 Aussie coaches over,” he said.
“Now we actually trust in our own coaches that come through the Super League system and we seem to be doing a decent job.
“You look at what Waney’s doing at Wigan. He’s won plenty of trophies and been in plenty of finals.
“For me, that’s a winning ethos.”
England announced this morning that Steve McNamara’s contract would not be renewed, despite the Sydney Roosters assistant guiding the side to a 2-1 Test Series win over New Zealand last November.
But Cunningham feels made to measure replacementa exist in Wane, and in McDermott, who has to coach the USA Hawks for his international fix.
“Brian should be our front runner and I find it baffling and shocking that he has had to cross the Atlantic to coach the United States of America in their 2017 World Cup bid when we are looking towards Australia for a new national coach,” Cunningham added.
“I’ve nothing against Wayne Bennett - he is a great coach and players will jump at the chance to play under him - but Brian’s record speaks for itself and I feel he would be the right choice.
“Mac is one of the most experienced coaches in our competition. He’s come off the back of winning numerous trophies.
“He’s won a treble in one of the best competitions in the world and we still need to go overseas to find a coach.”