Experienced coach David Furner is now positioned as a strong candidate to join South Sydney‘s coaching staff, following a surprising departure by Sam Burgess. This move could open the door for a potential coaching interchange with the Wests Tigers.
Barely a week after Burgess’ exit and just as the Rabbitohs gear up for a season-defining match against their age-old rivals, the Roosters, Furner is believed to head a list of coaches being considered for a key role in South Sydney‘s revised coaching line-up.
John Morris, current assistant to the Rabbitohs‘ coach Jason Demetriou, recently secured his position for the season’s remainder after discussions with South Sydney decision-makers. Morris will advance his career as the senior assistant to new head coach, Benji Marshall at the Tigers, agreeing to a four-year contract commencing in 2024.
There are lingering questions about the next move for Furner, who is only into the first year of his two-year contract with the Tigers, given his long-standing professional relationship with Tim Sheens. In the meantime, Marshall is working on imprinting his own identity on the team.
Sources, who preferred to remain nameless hinging upon their participation in confidential conversations, allege that South Sydney was already contemplating Furner’s return prior to the public knowledge of Morris’ move from the Tigers.
For Furner, being the former coach for both the Raiders and Leeds, and having had stints under Michael Maguire and Anthony Seibold at South Sydney, a return to the club would be a sort of reunion. He continues to hold substantial influence among many of the Rabbitohs‘ players.
Speculations were running high after Burgess and Morris were invited for a meeting with the South Sydney officials, reportedly due to a rift in their relationship with Demetriou given the club’s recent performance dip.
The Rabbitohs, despite holding the lead 11 rounds into the season, must now secure a victory in their conclusive face-off against Roosters, sans the suspended Latrell Mitchell, to progress into the finals.
With Burgess exiting just ahead of the season close to gear up for his new role as head coach at Warrington next year, Morris alongside Ben Hornby will support Demetriou for the remainder of the campaign.
In an official statement from the Tigers, Marshall warmly embraced John’s return to the club as an assistant coach, remarking, “His experience, his character and his attention to detail are second to none. He is a very good person, a dedicated family man, and we share the same values. I have complete trust in him and know he’ll do a great job for us.”