Castleford boss Daryl Powell has confirmed he has turned down the offer of a place on England’s backroom staff.
The 52-year-old former England and Great Britain international was thought to have been lined up to work alongside Wayne Bennett, who agreed a new two-year deal with the Rugby Football League on Monday.
Bennett has yet to announce his coaching team but reports suggested Powell could join for the next two years before taking over in time for the 2021 World Cup.
Speaking on Wednesday, Powell confirmed he spoke to the RFL’s rugby director Kevin Sinfield and re-iterated his desire to coach England in the future but says now is not the right time.
“I had a conversation with Kevin but at this point it’s not the right situation for me,” Powell said.
“I’m pretty happy doing what I’m doing here and I need to focus on what we need to get right here.
“Ultimately at some point in the future I’d obviously like to coach England. It just wasn’t right for me at the time.
“It’s about what we do now from here this season. I always wish England all the best obviously, it’s been a big part of my rugby league life and hopefully it will be in the future but it’s not the right time for me.”
Powell, who is the reigning Super League coach of the year after guiding the Tigers to the League Leaders’ Shield and a maiden Grand Final in 2017, was on the England coaching staff under Steve McNamara up to 2013 when he resigned to concentrate on his job at Castleford.
Powell also confirmed on Wednesday that Zak Hardaker has been dismissed by the club following a failed drugs test last year.