Ricky Stuart has refused to confirm he will remain Parramatta coach next season but says he's had no contact from Canberra about taking over the Raiders in 2014.
Stuart's first season with the Eels ended in embarrassing fashion on Sunday as the repeat wooden spooners conceded 50 points in a game for the fourth time this year, surrendering meekly 54-6 to finals-bound Newcastle.
The former Australia and NSW Origin coach has been widely linked with a return to Canberra, the club he played more than 200 games for between 1988 and 1998 as replacement for the sacked David Furner.
But the 46-year-old Stuart, who admitted he does have a get-out clause in his Eels contract, claimed he'd not heard from any Raiders powerbrokers.
''I haven't spoke to Canberra, it's a simple as that. It's not on my mind,'' Stuart said after Sunday's defeat at Hunter Stadium. When pressed on whether he would definitely be at the Eels next year, he played a straight bat.
''What more can I say? I have read all the speculation too,'' he said. ''I am contracted to Parramatta. I haven't spoken to anyone about going anywhere else.''
Stuart said different factions at boardroom level were holding Parramatta back and this was why he had a clause in his deal which would allow him to walk away at the end of the season. ''We have a volatile board. Why wouldn't I? [have a get-out clause] but it's not an excuse for how we are playing,'' he said.
''One hundred per cent [it's holding us back].''
Last night, the Raiders' four-man subcommittee met for an hour before the match against Cronulla to discuss candidates for their head coaching vacancy. Sub-committee chairman Allan Hawke and Raiders chairman John McIntryre declined to comment.