NRL icon spits fire in social media storm
Former NRL and NSW Origin star Jamie Soward has defended his position after he called for ex-Cronulla mentor Shane Flanagan to be allowed to return to a head coaching role.
Flanagan is an assistant coach at St George but given the Dragons' dismal start to the season - losing three from three - Soward believes he should be given the green light to take full control should the Red V lose faith in coach Paul McGregor.
Last year McGregor signed a contract extension to remain at the Dragons until the end of 2021 but he's already under pressure to keep his job after the side finished second-from-bottom last year.
Flanagan was suspended from head coaching for two seasons - 2020 and 2021 - after he was found guilty of breaching rules by communicating with Sharks officials during his 2014 ban for his role in the club's peptides saga.
Soward believes if Flanagan is allowed to be an assistant coach for the next two years, then he should also be eligible to be a head coach.
Not everyone agrees with the 2010 Dragons premiership winner's take, but Soward was standing his ground in the face of questions sent his way on social media.
One Twitter user wrote: "So you cheat, get caught, get suspended and then get reinstated early because a team played bad. Yep that's teaching kids right from wrong."
In reply, an angry Soward tweeted: "I know who I am and very happy with my comments. I'm not some troll who gets on here to spit s**t about a subject he knows nothing about. Crawl back into wherever you popped out of and MYOB (mind your own business).
"If we are having to teach your kids right from wrong then you have bigger problems."
In further tweets, Soward added: "We have guys who have had 2nd, 3rd, 4th chances come out and do the right thing. (Flanagan) Deserves a chance if the Dragons think his (sic) the right man.
"If his (sic) allowed back in the NRL system which he is, then why not the whole way."
Soward empathised with Flanagan, saying if a player was in his position returning from a ban, they wouldn't be limited to only playing reserve grade - likening that situation to the former Sharks coach only being able to act as an assistant.
"If a player is banned and comes back his (sic) not allowed to only play reserve grade," Soward said.
As reported by The Daily Telegraph, the NRL is open to reconsidering Flanagan's ban, which may pave the way for him to become a head coach before the end of 2021 if the Dragons decide to part ways with McGregor.
Originally published as NRL icon spits fire in social media storm