Australia coach Tim Sheens with his players after their defeat to New Zealand in the Rugby League Four Nations Final, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand, Saturday, November 15, 2014.
Australia coach Tim Sheens with his players after their defeat to New Zealand in the Rugby League Four Nations Final, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand, Saturday, November 15, 2014. AAP Image - SNPA, Ross Setford

Is Sheens having a lend of us?

TIM Sheens and I are the same age, give or take a few months.

And, admittedly, being in the same physical shape as the rising 65-year-old Kangaroos coach would be nice.

But while our minds may play tricks on us at this age, surely Sheens was not having a senior's moment this past week when he took a pot shot at the game's administration for not having a succession plan for representative football.

Sheens is concerned that our big guns - in particular 30-plus regulars Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, Justin Hodges, Corey Parker and Paul Gallen - will retire at the same time, leaving an obvious experience void in the Test team.

He equates the situation to when Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Justin Langer and Glenn McGrath opted out of Test cricket almost together.

Sheens says he warned the NRL hierarchy 12 months ago that the time will soon come when a host of new players, with scant rep experience, would need to be blooded - all together.

He also took a veiled swipe at Maroons coach Mal Meninga for continually selecting the same group of elder statesmen during Queensland's eight-year reign of Origin dominance.

Surely Mr Sheens is taking the mickey?

Other than Wayne Bennett, no one has coached more NRL games than Tim Sheens.

And only Bob Fulton, with 40 Tests, has coached the Australian team longer than Sheens, who racks up his 31st in charge in Brisbane on Friday night.

The former Panthers, Raiders, Cowboys and Tigers coach, who has also been at the helm of the NSW Origin Blues on six occasions, took over the Kangaroos in 2009.

So he is not exactly a rookie in this coaching caper, nor without foresight.

Sheens has had ample time to scan the landscape and strategise the succession plan about which he speaks.

And while he has selectors, it is common knowledge the coach always gets the team he wants.

But despite being in the perfect position to make change, yesterday he named a Kangaroos side containing most of those Test veterans.

If he was genuinely keen for a succession plan, why didn't he pick Robbie Farah instead of Cameron Smith, or Matt Moylan rather than Billy Slater?

And he could have really bitten the bullet, become a man of his convictions, and brought in Josh Reynolds for Johnathan Thurston.

But then, maybe the Australia coach was just having a loan of us with his provocative comments?

And perhaps he was drumming up publicity for Friday's Anzac Test?

Or could it be that he does not want any succession plan deployed just yet - not before the Kangaroos obtain some retribution for their Four Nations defeat last October, an obvious stain on the coaching career of Tim Sheens?


GALLERY: Hosting a new style of martial arts

GALLERY: Hosting a new style of martial arts

Competitors travelled far for the tournament.

Thousands of dollars worth of tools stolen

Thousands of dollars worth of tools stolen

Police are continuing to investigate the offence.

Fireys warn: Small sparks cause big blazes

Fireys warn: Small sparks cause big blazes

Even the smallest fire has the potential to spread quickly.

Local Partners