Mal Meninga in line to be appointed South Sydney interim NRL coach to replace Jason Demetriou

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The South Sydney Rabbitohs have identified Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga as the top priority candidate to be parachuted into Heffron Park once the club parts ways with current coach Jason Demetriou.

In a left-field bombshell development, Fox League has learned the Rabbitohs board has been presented with a shortlist of six possible candidates including Meninga, Michael Maguire and Ben Hornby, with the vote for the current Kangaroos coach being unanimous.

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Fox League understands the Bunnies will cut ties with Demetriou after South Sydney’s round six clash against Cronulla and then attempt to immediately fast-track negotiations with 63-year-old Meninga about coming in as an interim coach.

The Rabbitohs have a bye in round seven before facing the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park in round eight and three-peat premiers Penrith in round nine.

Meninga, an Immortal and one of the most respected figures in rugby league, will be approached about coming in as a caretaker coach for the remainder of this year only.

Meninga has previously enjoyed enormous success as coach of Queensland and Australia, famously guiding the Maroons to nine victories out of 10 series.

Given Meninga’s aura and style of man management the South Sydney club believe he is the perfect fit to try to fix the Rabbitohs’ diabolical 1-4 start to the season, where they have managed to score only 72 points and conceded 162 to sit last on the NRL ladder.

Meninga also enjoys a strong rapport with South Sydney stars Latrell Mitchell, Jack Wighton, Cameron Murray and Campbell Graham who were part of the Australian Kangaroos squad who won the 2022 Rugby League World Cup with big Mal at the helm as coach.

If South Sydney can secure Meninga on a short-term contract for the remainder of the season then the Bunnies are expected to swiftly shift their attention to landing the signature of Wayne Bennett for the 2025 season and beyond.

Originally published as Mal Meninga in line for bombshell South Sydney coaching appointment

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