Newcastle RLFormer Bulldogs premiership-winning captain Andrew Ryan interested in Souths Lions coaching job if Ben Cross departs

In the frame: Former Bulldogs skipper Andrew Ryan could coach South Newcastle if Ben Cross departs.FORMER Bulldogs premiership-winning captain Andrew Ryan has emerged as a potential candidate to coach defending premiers South Newcastle next season if current coach Ben Cross departs for South Sydney.

Cross is poised to be appointed the Rabbitohs forwards coach for next season but only if current head coach Anthony Seibold pledges his long term future to the Bunnies.

All bets may be off if Seibold departs.

Cross has advisedLions officials he has beenin negotiations with the Rabbitohs andtold theNewcastle Heraldon Tuesday he is“in the process of helping them find a replacement if I was to leave. I’m sure there’d be some worthy candidates”.

Ryan, who works for the NRL and CRL and is a member of the ABC Radio commentary team,lives in Newcastle and his kids are playing junior footy with the Lions.

While he hasn’t been formally approached about the coaching job, Ryan said he spoke to Cross only a couple of weeks ago about getting more involved next season.

“It was obviously before the South Sydney stuff with Crossy came up and we spoke about me doing a bit more with the senior group next year,” Ryan said.

“I’m keen to do some more but it probably hinges on juggling things with my work and the radio stuff. But mykids play South juniors and I’ve told the club in the past I’d love to be more involved at some stage.”

“If time permitted, I’d look at it. I’ve told Crossybefore that I would love to coach there at some stage depending on how long he keeps doing it.

“It would be a matter of fitting it in with work but it would be more down to whether they want me to be more involved first.

“There are some blokes already there who they may be looking at but I would certainly be open to doing more with them if the opportunity arose at some stage for sure.”

If Cross departs, reserve grade coach Matt Kennedy could also become a contender while another serious option for the Lions could be successful former NewcastleUnder 20’s coach Todd Lowrie, who was squeezed out by the Knights only a fewweeks ago.