Coach gets Green light at Cowboys
PAUL Green is poised to end months of speculation over his future by becoming the longest-serving coach in Cowboys history.
In what shapes as an eventful 72 hours for North Queensland, Green's imminent pledge to remain in Townsville for at least another two seasons coincides with a decision by the NRL on Todd Carney's Cowboys lifeline.
As part of their planned information and feedback sessions held with every club, NRL CEO Todd Greenberg and chief operating officer Nick Weeks will spend Monday and Tuesday with the Cowboys.
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Greenberg also intends to discuss with the Cowboys hierarchy the parameters around the potential rubberstamping of Carney's return to the NRL for the first time since 2014.
Carney has been playing with the Cowboys feeder-club the Northern Pride in anticipation of an NRL salvo.
He has had several supporters during his pursuit of one last NRL crack, but none more than the man the Cowboys board will invest their future in.
The news of Green's contract extension will be received with relief from Cowboys fans - and indeed Carney, who if not for the head coach's staunch support would remain in career limbo.
Green had frequently stated his desire to remain at the Cowboys - a stance supported by the club's leading players, including captain Johnathan Thurston.
However, due to the protracted negotiations between the club and Green, the 43 year-old had been widely linked to the Brisbane Broncos - despite Wayne Bennett still being contracted to Brisbane until the end of 2019.
It's expected that Cowboys chairman Laurence Lancini will hold a press conference alongside Green to announce the retention of their coach, who boasts the best winning strike-rate in the club's history.
Even a two-year deal would see Green overtake former coaches, the late Graham Murray (161-games) and Neil Henry (124), as the Cowboys longest-serving coach.
Saturday night's clash with Canterbury was Green's 115th match as coach.
Green was appointed head coach of North Queensland in 2014.
He has taken the club to two grand finals, including victory in the 2015 premiership and boasts a 59.6 per cent winning strike rate.