25 Feb 2009

Sheens says winning is the only option

5:56 am on 25 February 2009

The new Australian rugby league coach Tim Sheens says his longevity in the job will be determined by the Kangaroos' ability to reclaim and preserve the number one world ranking.

Just hours after being appointed to succeed Ricky Stuart in the game's most coveted coaching role, Sheens set the bar at the highest possible level, with winning the only option.

He says he doesn't know know about winning every Test but the series has to be won.

The last two Kangaroo coaches, Stuart and current St George Illawarra coach Wayne Bennett, both paid the ultimate price for failure.

Bennett's tenure wasn't renewed following Australia's stunning 24-0 capitulation to New Zealand in the 2005 Tri-Nations final, while Stuart's final game in charge was the loss to the Kiwis in last year's World Cup final.

First up for Sheens is a re-match with the Kiwis in Brisbane on May 8, when he will likely go up against his Wests Tigers linchpin Benji Marshall.