Ex-Sharks No.2 Price feels for Flanagan
Shane Flanagan (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)
Former St George Illawarra coach Steve Price hopes Cronulla's disgraced former premiership-winning boss Shane Flanagan won't be lost to rugby league.
Flanagan resigned from his position earlier this week after being deregistered last month by the NRL for flouting his 2014 suspension for his part in the club's peptides scandal.
Price, who now coaches English Super League powerhouses Warrington, was Flanagan's No.2 when the Sharks won the Premiership in 2016 and maintains close links with the man who threw him a coaching lifeline after he was sacked by the Dragons in 2015.
"He is a great coach and has done some wonderful things at the Cronulla Sharks in the time he has been there," Price told AAP at the Super League season launch at Old Trafford.
"He has been highly consistent and to win a grand final showed just how much he brought the club on from where they were when took over in 2009.
"It's not just about the first grade, he has changed all the pathways and systems at the club.
The (under) 16s, 18s, and 20s all won national championship in all those age groups.
"He's done remarkable things at that club and I can't imagine the pain he is going through.
"I genuinely hope he is not lost to the game. Rugby League needs people like Shane Flanagan in it. He has too much to offer.
"He built that club from the bottom up and there haven't been too many years in the recent times they haven't been out of the finals.
"All that has to go down to Shane."
Price enjoyed a superb first season at Warrington last year, taking the club to both the grand final and the Challenge Cup final.
Despite falling short in both matches, the Wolves have been installed pre-season favourites to win their first ever Super League title, largely because of the signing of former Canberra and Penrith playmaker Blake Austin.
The 27-year-old, who was named NRL five-eighth of the year in 2015, turned down the chance to sign for Parramatta to move to the north-west of England and Price said his arrival has given the club a huge lift.
"It's been a great for us to get Blake," he said.
"He scores tries, sets up tries and is a quality person as well. We have managed to get him when he is at the peak of his career and I think he can still get better.
"We had a good honest chat before we signed him and Blake felt at this time of his career with a young family the time was right to come over.
"He has settled in well from day one and embraced every aspect of living in a new country. That is what you have to do."
© AAP 2019