GLENN MORRISON could become the next New Zealand RL coach after it was revealed he was on a four-man shortlist for the vacant position.
The current Dewsbury Rams chief joins an illustrious list which includes Stephen Kearney, David Kidwell and Richie Blackmore.
The four candidates will be interviewed by a six-strong appointment panel over the next week, with a recommendation due with the NZRL board by mid-February.
The former Bradford, Wakefield and Parramatta star was the shock entrant on the shortlist, with limited coaching experience compared to his rivals, having only retired from playing in 2011.
However, he coached whilst he was playing having assisted Wakefield Under-18s and Under-20s as well as becoming Wakefield’s assistant coach and eventually head coach of the Under-20s.
He was also part of the coaching team for the Exiles in their clash with England, in a mid-season international.
Having taken over the hot seat at the Rams in 2012, Morrison guided the side to the play-offs for the first time in 13 years.
Despite only being in professional coaching for a short period Morrison says that he has always had an aim to be an international coach.
Morrison said: “I said as a player I always wanted to get as far as I could, and now as a coach I am following that same philosophy, trying to push myself to be the best I can be.
“I was very pleased to get to the last four for such a prestigious role and for one of the best jobs in the world.
“I’ve always wanted to coach at international level, but it probably wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I felt I had a chance.
“It was unbelievable to get in the final four, especially being the last non-Kiwi up for the position.
“I know there is a long way to go before getting the job but all I can do now is put my best foot forward.
“I think anybody would be silly not to apply for the coaching role.”
The Rams coach also says this is good for his Tetley’s Stadium side and insists if it wasn’t for them he might not have been considered for the role.
He added: “I’m still fully focused on the Rams and the weekend ahead with the game against Castleford on Saturday (7.30pm).
“I will never forget what has got me here, in line for the New Zealand position and that is the Rams. The shortlist gives a better chance to get the Dewsbury Rams name out there.”
Castleford are coming in to the game following a resounding 66-10 victory over Bradford Bulls, and Morrison says his players must be wary of the in-form Super League side.
“I expect Castleford to name a strong squad against us and we will be against a Cas side in great form,” he continued.
“It is going to be tough because they are coming off a great game against Bradford.
“I had an idea of my best squad but a lot of players have jumped the queue and made selection for the first Championship game tough.
“I would say my squad is half0selected, but the other positions are up for grabs and this weekend is another chance for players to impress.
“There are going to be a lot of disappointed people when we line up for that first game, but it is a long season and they will have plenty of chances to be picked.”