Robinson endorses Fitzgibbon as next coach

Matt Encarnacion
Roosters head coach Trent Robinson has predicted a top NRL role for his assistant Craig Fitzgibbon

Support is growing for Craig Fitzgibbon to become the next rookie NRL coach, with Trent Robinson describing his assistant as one of the best in the game.

Fitzgibbon is widely considered as a coach-in-waiting, having served as an assistant at the Sydney Roosters since 2012.

The 43-year-old former second-rower has been linked with a number of head coaching jobs in recent weeks, including St George Illawarra and the recently vacated Warriors gig.

Before Dragons coach Paul McGregor survived the axe two weeks ago, immortal Andrew Johns led the push for Fitzgibbon to land the role.

On the eve of Friday's clash between the Roosters and Dragons, Robinson had no hesitation in also backing the former second-rower to take a call.

"Fitzy's one of the best coaches in our game. There's no question that he's going to get tossed up (for jobs)," Robinson said on Thursday.

"But we're also really content and on a path here. Everybody knows Fitzy's his own man and he's a strong, strong coach and one of the best in the game.

"But we're in the middle of fighting for something special."

Roosters co-captain Boyd Cordner credited Fitzgibbon for his role in establishing what has been one of the league's best defensive setups in recent years.

The current team is aiming to keep their opponents under 20 for the 23rd straight game, a feat not achieved in almost 40 years.

"All our principles, everything you see out there - us moving on the field and us working for each other, he's the man behind it all," Cordner told AAP.

"Obviously you have Robbo who's the head coach, who oversees it. But Fitzy's been the heartbeat of our defence for as long as he's been there now."

The Warriors and Dragons are not the only clubs caught in a wildfire of speculation, with Canterbury and North Queensland also struggling for results.

Off-contract Bulldogs coach Dean Pay is in a fight to earn an extension, while Cowboys mentor Paul Green is also under pressure to turn their form around.

Robinson said that while coaches often wear the results, he believes clubs can do do more to support their main decision-makers.

"You get thrust in ... then no one says, 'These are the areas we want you to improve in, the areas we're looking at, what are we doing about them'," he said.

"And the speculation comes and everyone falls silent.

"We understand, coaching is no different in rugby league to every other sport.

"If you want to coach in football, it's pretty clear it's results-driven. You've got to win.

"But also, the responsibility of more than just one person is important in clubs."