2016 shapes as the biggest year the NRL has seen yet. But which coaches will be sweating on good results to save their skin and keep themselves from lining up at Centrelink next year? Here at the Stitch Up we are going to have a look at the top five NRL coaches whose McJobs are on the line in 2016.
5. Michael McGuire
Madge looks to have put all his eggs in one basket by poaching big Sam Burgess from the evil clutches of English Rugby. To get him back the Bunnies have had to conduct their own private fire sale. If Burgess manages to injure himself or get suspended for grabbing someone's plums again, then Madge has left himself and his squad pretty thin.
Surely if the Rabbitohs bomb in the finals again whispers will begin to circulate that Madge' job security is being bypassed.
4. Brad Arthur
The Parramatta Sea Eagles....wait, is that right? Ah who cares. If Brad Arthur's squad can't win anything other than the wooden spoon this year, even the most hardened Parramatta supporters will start howling for Arthur's blood.
The Eels have gone bonkers chopping and changing their squad over the last couple of years. Arthur has tried to convince all and sundry that he is working to perfect the squad. Well if he hasn't quite got it figured by now then he never will.
Big names like Keiran Foran, Beau Scott and Michael Gordon join the likes of Anthony Watmough, Corey Norman, Nathan Peats, Semi Radradra and John Folau. This is the Eels time to shine: surely Arthur has a mortgage he needs to pay off. I doubt Centrelink would cover those payments...
3. Neil Henry
Some people will argue that Henry has caught the rough end of the stick when he waltzed into the Gold Coast. Half his squad was sidelined at the beginning of last season on varying degree's of cocaine charges and the Titans didn't have an official place to train.
Since then Henry has gone all "razor gang" to his squad and dropped, fired, sold or forced into retirement anyone with exuberance and experience. Instead he has enlisted the help of two war-horse geriatrics on their last legs in Nathan Friend and David Shillington. Henry has hoped to balance those retirees with the youth and inexperience of Kayne Elgey and Ash Taylor in the halves.
Thankfully, despite the Titans' best efforts, James Roberts looks to be sticking around. It's funny that the fastest player in the league didn't simply run away from the Titans, they'd never catch him....
It looks as though 2016 will fall on the shoulders of Greg Bird and not even he can dive and ham it up enough to get the results needed to carry the Titans and save Henry's job.
2. Andrew McFadden
McFadden has no excuses this go around. If the Warriors continue on in their phenomenally frustrating ways - win one, lose six - then McFadden's time at the Warriors is as doomed as the Dodo.
McFadden has signed Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Isaac Luke to create, arguably, the strongest spine in the competition with Shaun Johnson and Thomas Leuluai. If the Warriors can't make the finals with this team then they never will again unless they turn to witch craft or voodoo....
1. Jason Taylor
This is a no-brainer. If you look close enough in some photo's, you can already see poor Jason's nuts on the chopping block.
Taylor has painted himself into one of the most bizarre corners the NRL has ever seen. If he decides to play Robbie Farah and the club continues its abysmal run of results, he will be a laughing stock and won't be able to get a gig as an under 12's coach. However, if he decides to let Farah wallow away in the NSW Cup and the club doesn't chalk up some decent results, then Taylor will be a laughing stock and won't be able to get a gig as an under 10's coach.
How ever you look at it, Jason Taylor is screwed. He has a halves pairing still battling puberty, a fullback who is too small to carry the entire team and a forward pack that has about as much punch as a limp wristed four year old. Taylor better get himself a Centrelink number and a goon sack pronto, because the smart money is on him being out on his arse before the end of the 2016 season.