NRL: Halligan back to Warriors

By Michael Brown

Changes continue at the Warriors with Daryl Halligan returning as kicking coach to replace former All Black Frano Botica.

Halligan was previously employed by the club and worked with Michael Witt, who kicked 28 consecutive goals in the 2007 season.

Halligan is widely regarded as one of the best goalkickers to have played rugby league and kicked 855 first-grade goals. He also held the competition points scoring record at the time of his retirement in 2000 with 2034 points for the North Sydney Bears and Canterbury Bulldogs.

Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah confirmed the change and said Halligan had been signed for the next two seasons.

The 43-year-old lives in Sydney but is frequently in Auckland, where he works as a commentator for Sky TV for Warriors home games. He was in Auckland last week to work with the kickers - Brett Seymour, Aaron Heremaia and Shaun Johnson - in their first week of pre-season training. Kevin Locke and Lance Hohaia, who are also both goalkickers, have been away with the Kiwis during the Four Nations in England.

"When we need him we can bring him over for additional work," Scurrah said. "It was not a slight on Frano's abilities but it was just something [coach] Ivan Cleary wanted to do after going through our thorough club review."

The Warriors struggled with goalkicking in 2009, with Locke kicking at 69 per cent and Denan Kemp at 66 per cent. Stacey Jones and Patrick Ah Van were also used with limited success.

Other changes at the Warriors have seen Steve Price axed as skipper in favour of Simon Mannering, Tony Iro replace John Ackland as assistant coach, Ackland taking over the under-20s, and Dean Bell becoming recruitment officer.

- Herald on Sunday

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