Wayne Bennett is likely to be handed a new contract by the Rugby Football League despite presiding over Great Britain’s disastrous southern hemisphere tour.
The veteran Australian, universally regarded as one of the all-time greatest coaches, has been employed as England coach for the past four years.
He was tasked with leading Great Britain in their recent four-match tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, which resulted in four straight defeats, and his contract with the governing body has now expired.
Bennett came under heavy fire for his squad selection and apparent failure to differentiate between Great Britain, a once iconic brand revived after 12 years in hibernation, and England.
Nevertheless, the 69-year-old has frequently voiced his desire to lead England into next year’s Ashes series against Australia and 2021 World Cup, both on home soil.
Asked whether Bennett could be awarded a new deal, RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer said: “Most certainly – we shouldn’t forget what he’s done.
“Yes, we’ve had a poor year on the field and we’re all hurting – including the players and coaches.
“But until this point, we have progressed really well. We have put a challenging, difficult international programme together and I don’t regret doing that at all.”
A review of Great Britain’s failure is being conducted by Rimmer and the RFL’s rugby director, Kevin Sinfield, and a decision on the England job will be made thereafter.
Rimmer said: “In terms of the two brands, the review is taking place and it will take care of all aspects of the tour.
“It didn’t go as planned on the field but many other things went very well.
“It’s important the review is considered and reactionary. We’re hurt a little but we need to take the objective view.
“Some aspects we are disappointed in, others not so much, but there will be a great deal of consultation and Wayne’s role is a part of that.
“It’s going to be a considered piece of work that will get us to a good place.”
Former Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane, currently employed by the Scottish Rugby Union, and Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell have been touted as potential successors to Bennett.
Bennett, though, remains popular with his players and guided England to the 2017 World Cup final against Australia, where they lost 6-0 in Brisbane, and orchestrated three wins from four Test matches against New Zealand last year.
Rimmer, who said Sinfield’s position was not under any threat, added: “There’s plenty of coaching talent out there.
“That doesn’t mean Wayne’s position is either weakened or strengthened, however. He wants to stay on.”
Bennett lamented the absence of a mid-season Test this year but talks are under way to ensure there is one ahead of the 2020 Ashes series and it will be away from home.
Rimmer said: “The intention is to have a midseason Test. We’re in dialogue at this moment in time.”
The RFL supremo said the prospect of Australia playing midweek games against Super League sides during next year’s Ashes series was “still under discussion”.