NRL: Warriors to cast net wide in search for new coach

By Michael Brown

Brian McClennan talks to the media after being sacked by the Warriors. Photo / Getty Images
Brian McClennan talks to the media after being sacked by the Warriors. Photo / Getty Images

The Warriors will do "whatever it takes" to find the best coach to replace Brian McClennan who was sacked Monday night.

Assistant coach Tony Iro will take over for the two remaining games this season and will apply for the role, but chief executive Wayne Scurrah said they will cast the net wide in their search for a new head coach.

The combined financial clout of owners Owen Glenn and Eric Watson, who have made no secret of their ambitions, should ensure money will not be much of an impediment.

There have been a number of aggressive approaches made in the last couple of years, not least of all the plays made for Ivan Cleary (from the Warriors to Penrith) and Des Hasler (Manly to Bulldogs) even though both were under contract and Scurrah said he hoped there wouldn't be any limitations to what they could do.

"We are going to employ the best coach we can," he said. "That does not limit us to Auckland, for sure.

We want to resource everything right and a big part of that is having the best people. The head coach's one is one of the biggest ones.

"The owners said, 'whatever it takes' when they were back here last time and that hasn't changed. We have to get out there and do as much as we can. A lot of coaches are tied up but we will try to do whatever it takes because we are out there to be a very successful club, and part of that is winning a premiership, and then more of them when you get the first one out of the way."

Iro, who was beaten to the job this year by McClennan, announced today he will put his name forward.

"I think everyone in this coaching game wants the head coaching role somewhere and I'm no different," he said. "This is an opportunity for me."

He will have the next fortnight to put forward a compelling case, and Scurrah said they would be taking close interest in what unfolds, starting with Saturday night's visit to the Dragons.

Others like Jason Taylor (Roosters' Toyota Cup coach) and Jim Dymock (Bulldogs' assistant) might also come into the equation but Stephen Kearney looms as a leading candidate.

The Kiwis' coach, who was in talks about becoming defence coach under McClennan after being sacked by the Eels last month, is ambitious and wants to remain in the NRL, but also has next year's World Cup on the agenda.

NZRL chief executive Jim Doyle said they would be comfortable with Kearney having two jobs, given they did most of the day-to-day logistics and there was only one test mid-season before the end-of-year commitments.

"[The Kiwis' coaching job is] not overly time consuming," Doyle said. "[Australia and Wests' coach] Tim Sheens doesn't have a problem with it, Wayne Bennett didn't have a problem before that. We don't see any reason why he couldn't be Kiwis' coach and an NRL coach."

- APNZ

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