Samoa coach Matt Parish turns his back on NRL

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So where to now for Matt Parish, the man who shook the rugby league world by coaching minnows Samoa to the final of the World Cup?

Parish has worked as an assistant coach at both Manly and Parramatta and would walk into a similar role in 2024 following his stunning feat with the tiny island nation.

But Parish has had enough of clubland and will concentrate his efforts in coming years on helping develop young kids in the New South Wales Rugby League system.

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“I know I’ll never be an NRL head coach and I’m fine with that,” Parish told Wide World of Sports.

“I’ve done my time as an assistant coach and enjoyed that.

“But I’ve been working the last few years in pathways with the NSW Rugby League and I love helping young up and comers.

“I work closely with ‘Freddy’ (Blues coach Brad Fittler) and he is great in his support of these rising players.

“They are young and keen to learn and enjoyable to work with.”

A former Balmain utility player, Parish was in the firing line when England thumped the Samoans 60-6 in their opening game of the World Cup.

But he turned it all around in remarkable style, with the Samoans producing a stunning 27-26 win to upset the Brits in the semi-final.

“I was proud of the guys and how they responded after that awful first game,” he said.

“We gave it a good crack against the Kangaroos but they are world champions for a reason and just had too much class and experience.”

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