Rumour Mill: South Sydney set to ‘axe’ Jason Demetriou with ex-Super League coach in contention

Aaron Bower

2RJJ8CR Sydney, Australia. 23rd Aug, 2023. Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou waits to address media during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL press conference with CEO Blake Solly, at USANA Rabbitohs Centre, in Sydney, Wednesday, August 23, 2023. Sam Burgess' time at South Sydney is over after the assistant coach left training early on Wednesday morning. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING Credit: Australian Associated Press/Alamy Live News

South Sydney Rabbitohs have reportedly decided that Jason Demetriou will leave the club according to reports in Australia – with Mal Meninga among the potential short-term replacements in a list of candidates including Michael Maguire.

Souths have had a shocking start to 2024, winning just one of their first five NRL fixtures. And Fox League are reporting that Demetriou will be removed from the position of head coach after this weekend’s game against Cronulla Sharks – with Kangaroos coach Meninga in the frame to take his place.

But former Wigan and Wests boss Maguire is another who is under consideration to take charge for the rest of this season – before the Bunnies launch an ambitious play to appoint Wayne Bennett for 2025 and beyond.

The news will come as a relief to supporters of Warrington Wolves, who have been used to seeing their head coach, Sam Burgess, linked with the Souths job on a near-weekly basis ever since he arrived in England.

Souths remain keen admirers of Burgess’ coaching ability and hope he will lead them one day, but he is adamant he will see out his two-year deal in Super League at the very least before considering a return to the NRL.

And with Burgess off the market, Souths have looked elsewhere – with Australia coach Meninga a surprise candidate to take charge in the immediate term.

He will be asked to take charge for the rest of 2024 before Bennett is targeted upon his planned departure from the Dolphins.

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