Phil Gould doubts Justin Holbrook has the experience to handle the Titans job.
Phil Gould doubts Justin Holbrook has the experience to handle the Titans job.

Gould questions Titans coaching ‘gamble’

Phil Gould believes the Titans' decision to reportedly hire Justin Holbrook is a 'huge gamble' and fears Kevin Walters' may have missed his chance to become an NRL coach.

St Helens coach Holbrook is set to be unveiled as Garth Brennan's replacement at the Gold Coast on Tuesday.

Holbrook, 43, has a successful record at St Helens having won a staggering 79 per cent of his games at the club.

 

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However Gould doubts if the former Roosters assistant coach has the experience to handle the Titans job.

"I think it's a huge, huge gamble - I like Justin Holbrook, great bloke and I hope he does really well, but that club that have openly said this is our last chance if we don't get it right this time around," Gould told Channel 9's 100% Footy.

"Unless (Titans head of performance and culture) Mal (Meninga) is going to take a more hands-on role as the head of football … if he just says to Holbrook, 'You just coach the team and I'll take care of everything else', OK, I can understand that.

"But if he's got to go in there and be the head coach and look after everything else that every other head coach has had to put up with up there, it will distract from his coaching and he's not experienced enough to handle it, particularly at a club like that.

"Now, I hope it goes well for him, I mean I really like him, but geez it's a gamble."

Gould also fears for the Walters' long-term coaching prospects in the NRL, after he was not interviewed for the Titans job.

"From what I understand this morning, Holbrook's got the job and Walters wasn't even interviewed, now if that's right it's not good news for Kevin," Gould told 100% Footy.

"Where does he go now to get an NRL job if it's not going to be there?

"He's been knocked back at the Broncos a number of times."

Former NSW captain and current Cronulla Sharks skipper Paul Gallen was stunned by the Titan's decision to overlook Walters.

"That's the answer right there, he's a Queenslander," Gallen said.

"Justin Holbrook's a terrific guy, I know him and he's a great guy, no issue there whatsoever but Walters is Queensland.

"He's a Queenslander, he's the Queensland coach. I mean I cannot believe it."