RUGBY LEAGUE: Anthony Griffin's reputation for developing young talent, while being able to work with the egos of established stars, has him as a hot tip to walk into the Tigers' den following a day in which two NRL coaches were delivered bad news.
Four days after his 101-game coaching career ended with Brisbane's loss to North Queensland, Griffin has emerged as the front-runner to replace Wests Tigers mentor Michael Potter whose long-running saga, which started back in July, ended as everyone expected after the club's board confirmed his axing yesterday.
At the same time as the Tigers dumped Potter, NRL boss David Smith announced during a whistle-stop visit to Rockhampton that the NRL would not be lifting it's ASADA-related suspension on Cronulla head coach Shane Flanagan.
Flanagan has not met key conditions imposed on him when the NRL suspended his registration last December.
"His (Flanagan's) suspension will not be lifted today," Smith said, indicating Flanagan had failed to meet the NRL's conditions, which included completing educational courses, displaying an understanding of what was required to be an NRL coach in the 21st century and having no direct or indirect contact with the Sharks club while under suspension.
"It's about due process," Smith added.
"We always said that we would not reinstate (Flanagan) until the conditions were satisfied.
"There are certain conditions and when Shane meets those conditions we will have him back in the game."
Griffin's record of working with young players, such as Jharal Yow Yeh, Dale Copley, Corey Oates and Jordan Kahu, fits the brief the Tigers want, with the club unearthing its own crop of exciting young cubs this season.
Halfback Luke Brooks and fullback James Tadesco, along with his young back-up Kurtis Rowe and Curtis Sironen, the son of former Tigers great Paul Sironen, have all starred for the club this campaign.
If successful, Griffin will have to form a working relationship with Tigers skipper Robbie Farah, a powerful figure at the club.
Farah clashed publicly with both Potter and also chief executive Grant Mayer during a tumultuous 2014 season which got ugly towards the end of the year.
Griffin, though, has worked with some of the game's highest-profile players, including Darren Lockyer, Justin Hodges, Corey Parker and Sam Thaiday, another ace up his sleeve with the Tigers under pressure to get their act together both on and off the field. Griffin has kept his cards close to his chest in recent weeks having been linked to several coaching jobs across the NRL, including the Gold Coast before Neil Henry landed a three-year deal with the Titans.