Salford coach Ian Watson believes Wayne Bennett should have been given the opportunity to lead England in to the 2021 World Cup.
The 70-year-old guided England to the World Cup final in 2017, where they lost to Australia.
Bennett’s contract with the Rugby Football League expired after Great Britain’s disappointing tour in the autumn and he has since been replaced by ex-Wigan boss Shaun Wane.
Watson, who was one of Bennett’s assistants on the Lions tour, said: “It’s a good move for Shaun – he’s a good coach.
“He’s won championship after championship and he’s been in a high-performance environment at Scotland, so he knows how it all works in terms of a different sport.
“He’ll be well-positioned to come into the head coaching position.
“I feel a bit for Wayne. I think he did a great job and got England to the World Cup final and should have been given the opportunity to take that forward and see if he could finish the job.
“His aim at the end of the day was to win a World Cup final and we felt he was on course to do that. I feel for him a little bit – but I think Shaun is a good appointment.”