Ivan Cleary has answered an SOS to help the Kiwis for next month's Anzac test with Australia in Sydney.
Cleary will act as Stephen Kearney's assistant, the same role he performed at last year's World Cup. He had initially ruled himself out of continuing because of his commitments as Panthers coach but Kearney needed a quick replacement after Andrew McFadden stepped down after being appointed interim Warriors coach.
It leaves Kearney still looking for a long-term option - McFadden had been appointed assistant for two years - but there is plenty of time before the Four Nations at the end of the season.
"While it's disappointing to lose Andrew, we had included a clause in his contract that enabled him to take advantage of any head-coaching opportunities that might arise,'' NZRL high performance manager Tony Iro said. "In effect, this leaves us with the same situation we had for last year's Anzac Test in Canberra and we'll revisit the assistant coach vacancy before the Four Nations in October.
"We are focused on getting the right person for our needs and feel this is the best solution in the meantime.''