Tony Iro has put the disappointment of missing out on the Warriors coaching position behind him and joined the NZRL in a fulltime role as high performance manager.

Iro, who was Warriors assistant for three years, was overlooked for the Warriors role for Matt Elliott and turned down the opportunity to remain at the club as an assistant coach. He had also been linked with an assistants role at the Roosters.

His position with the NZRL will see him focus on the elite end of the sport, working closely with the Kiwis and Junior Kiwis along with other NZRL teams and coaches. He has worked as Kiwis assistant since 2009.

"With 2013 a major year for the sport, and especially for the Kiwis, it's great to have someone of Tony's calibre involved full-time," NZRL chief executive Jim Doyle said.


"Tony will be focused on the Kiwis' defence of the World Cup, but he'll also work heavily with Tony Kemp on our high performance programmes. He'll be a great resource for the coaches in this country, too."

Iro's administrative experience with the Kiwis dates back to 2005, when he was first appointed a national selector. He has held a variety of positions with the Kiwis since, mostly recently holding the dual roles of selector and assistant coach. He'll continue in both those posts but, with the sport's biggest tournament less than 12 months away, he's excited about increasing his involvement.

"I'm there to give the Kiwis the best chance of defending the Rugby League World Cup," Iro said. "So I'll be looking at every part of preparation and what the team, and the staff, need to deliver their best."

Ruben Wiki had worked part time as the NZRL's high performance manager but left the organisation earlier this month to join the Warriors in a strength and conditioning role.