Under pressure Gold Coast coach John Cartwright has stepped down from his role as New South Wales assistant coach to concentrate on club duties.
Cartwright’s Titans have won just three matches so far this year and on Saturday fell to a 23-10 home defeat at the hands of Penrith.
He informed NSW head coach Ricky Stuart at the weekend of his decision to step down for the remainder of the series.
“I’ve just decided that it was probably a little bit too much to be away with where we are at the moment,’’ said Cartwright.
“I just probably wouldn’t be able to get my head around being involved in the NSW team.
“I just phoned Ricky and said ‘mate I won’t be able to do it for the next couple of games’.
“My priority has always been here and none of us ever intended for us to be in this situation but if anything I’m excited by it. I think it’s a challenge, we haven’t been in these waters before and we’re halfway through the season and looking to finish the back end of the year on a high.
“I just don’t think I could’ve got my head around being down there while the side was up here working hard.’’
Cartwright said the issue had been on his mind in recent weeks but he felt comfortable with his decision to stand down from his representative position.
“It has been on my mind. It’s a tough thing to do – you want to be involved at the very elite but my priority is here, so I have been wrestling with it,’’ he said.