Brutally rejected coach lands on his feet with new NRL gig

The South Sydney Rabbitohs have announced former Cronulla Sharks head coach John Morris will join their ranks as an assistant coach for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Morris was brutally shoved aside in April by the Sharks as they appointed Sydney Roosters deputy Craig Fitzgibbon to their head coaching role from 2022.

Morris oversaw back-to-back finals appearances in his two seasons at the helm in Cronulla, but it wasn’t enough for the Scone native to convince the upper powers at Shark Park that he was the man to deliver the success they crave.

He will join a new-look Rabbitohs coaching staff for 2022. With Wayne Bennett’s imminent departure at the end of the season, assistant coach Jason Demetriou will be promoted to the head coach role for the first time in his NRL career.

Morris was shoved aside by the Sharks for Craig Fitzgibbon. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Ben Hornby will stick around the club for another two seasons as an assistant coach as well.

Rabbitohs head of football Mark Ellison emphasised the importance of giving Demetriou a highly experienced pair of assistants to help him in his first year at the helm.

“We’re very happy with the calibre of coaches that will be leading the club in 2022 and beyond,” Ellison said.

“Jason has done a long coaching apprenticeship in the NRL, United Kingdom, Queensland Cup and NSW Cup, and he is certainly ready to step up into the head coach role.

“For him to be able to call on a young yet experienced group of assistant coaches for support is very important, and we couldn’t be happier with the coaching team we’ve assembled with him.

Jason Demetriou will lead the Bunnies from next season. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“John has shown he has what it takes to coach at the top levels, as has Ben. They have a wealth of playing experience on their side but they have also developed a strong coaching background over the past decade to be the right men to appoint as assistant coaches to Jason.

“In saying all of this, we still have a campaign on which to concentrate in 2021, and Jason and Ben will play a big role in supporting Wayne (Bennett) and the team over the next three months as we work towards securing our 22nd premiership for this club.”

The Bunnies sit just two points behind the Melbourne Storm and the Penrith Panthers and face a Bulldogs side looking for just their third win of the season on Sunday.

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