NRL: Wiki joins Warriors' new look training staff

Four years after his retirement, Ruben Wiki will return fulltime to the Warriors after being confirmed today in the club's new-look strength and conditioning department. Photo / Getty Images.
Four years after his retirement, Ruben Wiki will return fulltime to the Warriors after being confirmed today in the club's new-look strength and conditioning department. Photo / Getty Images.

Four years after his retirement, Ruben Wiki will return fulltime to the Warriors after being confirmed today in the club's new-look strength and conditioning department.

Since ending his stellar playing career with 312 NRL appearances and a then-world record 55 tests, Wiki has had part-time roles with the Warriors and last season was the team's defensive coach.

Now the 39-year-old will again be a fixture at his old club, after being appointed to work under new strength and conditioning coach Carl Jennings in the Warriors' bolstered training staff.

The Warriors are still on the hunt for an assistant coach to work under new mentor Matt Elliott, with general manager of football operations Dean Bell confirming that Tony Iro's replacement, along with the full coaching team, will be announced in the next few days.

Otara-raised Wiki said he couldn't wait to embrace his job when the Warriors reconvene on Monday to start their pre-Christmas off-season training programme.

"I'm so excited about being back here. I love this place and being involved with the players like this is my passion," he said. "I'm really looking to working with Matt again, and also Carl. We go back to the Canberra days."

Wiki's 225-game Canberra career ran from 1993-2004 before he joined the Warriors. Elliott was on the Raiders' coaching staff from 2001-2006 while Jennings was the head strength and conditioning coach.

"I'm delighted to be working with Ruben again," Elliott said. "As a person, he models the culture we want to develop at the Warriors.

"There's his obvious wealth of experience as player at the highest level and, since retiring, he has also become a skilled practitioner in the strength and conditioning field."

Apart from his strength and conditioning role, Elliott said Wiki would also contribute in a coaching capacity by mentoring NRL players.

As well as announcing Wiki's appointment, Jennings confirmed three other staff - sports science manager Brad Morris, rehab and speed coach Dayne Norton and performance analyst Adam Sadler.

Bell said confirmation of the expanded training department marked a vital step forward for the club.

"This is a key outcome of the plans announced in July when (owners) Owen Glenn and Eric Watson committed to a substantial investment in personnel, sports science and other resources for our football department. This is a critical start and it points us in the right direction as we strive for best-practice in our football operation."

- APNZ

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