Michael Maguire's tumultuous tenure at the Wests Tigers continues after a board meeting to decide the coach's future was postponed,
The club's board was expected to meet on Monday to hear findings of the end-of-season football review which was thought to be his death knell.
However, it's understood they needed more time to decide the fate of their head coach, which has staved off a decision on Maguire's future for now.
Under Maguire's three seasons in charge, the Tigers have slipped from ninth, to 11th and 13th in 2021, missing finals for the 10th straight season.
A dismal 38-0 loss to wooden spooners Canterbury in the final round while the pressure was on to keep his job was thought to be the final straw.
Maguire's intense coaching style was thought to have worn out the young side.
He has long been adamant that he is setting the club up for future success, and that they must be patient and play the long game.
But there is every chance that patience may have run out.
The Tigers have won just 38.2 per cent of games under Maguire, the 2014 NRL premiership winner with South Sydney, and are yet to string three straight wins together while he has been at the helm.
A date has not been set for the next board meeting, but the club are keen to move quickly given recruitment for 2022 and beyond has been put on hold until there is certainty over the head coach position.
If Maguire is axed, he will be the fifth full-time head coach to leave the Tigers in the space of nine seasons.
Maguire had his deal extended last summer, with a further two years added to take him until the end of 2023.
Club officials have long maintained they do not regret that decision despite the current situation.
Penrith assistant Cameron Ciraldo is understood to be the main target as a replacement for Maguire, although he has put any talks on hold until the Panthers have finished the NRL season.
Ciraldo is considered one of the rising stars in the NRL coaching field and the Tigers have been impressed with his defensive nous in helping Penrith to success.
If he is not interested, Kristian Woolf, Shaun Wane, Paul Green and Englishman Steve McNamara shape as other options should Maguire be axed.
Australian Associated Press