Sheens lands top Job

The Australian Rugby League have named Tim Sheens as the new head coach of the national side.

Sheens was given the job after a bid by the four Queensland representatives on the 10-man ARL board to overturn a rule barring State of Origin coaches from having charge of Australia failed.

The Maroons directors had wanted Queensland coach Mal Meninga.

Other contenders were Manly's premiership winning coach Des Hasler and Gold Coast's John Cartwright, Stuart's assistant during last year's World Cup.

Sheens replaces Ricky Stuart, who resigned in early December after the handing down of a damning report into his behaviour following the Rugby League World Cup.

Sheens' appointment as Test coach is the latest achievement in an career which has seen him man the bench in 568 games since 1984.

ARL chief executive Geoff Carr hailed the appointment, insisting the board had chosen "the best man for the job".

"The ARL had an outstanding group of coaches to select from and that is an indication of the regard Tim Sheens is held in," he said in a statement released by the ARL.

"Tim's record speaks for itself - he has won four Premierships and has coached more games than anyone in the game's history.

"There are very few coaches out there who have achieved such sustained success over such a long period of time.

"Tim's experience is matched by his ability to extract the absolute best from his players at both club and representative level. We believe we have the best man for the job."

Sheens, 58, has been coach of City Origin for the past three seasons and has previously coached the Blues in 1991 as well as the 1997 NSW Super League team.

Now in his 25th year of top grade coaching, he has won premierships at Canberra in 1989, 1990 and 1994 as well as the Tigers in 2005.

Having tutored Stuart, Cartwright, Meninga, NSW and Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy and Country Origin's Laurie Daley, Sheens is one of the most influential coaches in the game.

Sheens' first assignment will be the May 8 Test against world champions New Zealand in Brisbane.

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