Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

NRL: Stephen Kearney refusing to talk Warriors coaching job

Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Stephen Kearney has refused to talk about any interest in a coaching job at the Warriors, saying he is completed focused on the Kiwis.

Kearney has been mentioned as a possible contender for a Warriors role in 2017, if the embattled Auckland club decides coaching changes are needed after another disappointing season.

But the 44-year-old adopted a 'neither-confirm-nor-deny' approach, when asked on Wednesday if he was interested in a possible Mt Smart position.

"I'm not going to go [there]," said Kearney, during a press conference after the naming of the Kiwis train on squad for the Four Nations. " I'm here to talk about the Kiwis and I'm not going to make a comment on the Warriors."

Kearney has been linked with the Warriors before - especially in 2012 when he was sounded out in the wake of Brian McClennan's departure - and his name has come up again this season.

Kearney also dismissed suggestions that the Warriors' poor 2016 campaign was a concern for his New Zealand side. No less than 11 Warriors were named in the train on squad yesterday and prominent Kiwis players such as Shaun Johnson, Ben Matulino and Manu Vatuvei have struggled at times this season.

"That's never been an issue for me," said Kearney. "My focus is on [providing] an environment for the Kiwis team so that the individuals that come into the group get the opportunity to play their best football. If I do that, then I am getting my job done."

Meanwhile, Warriors coach Andrew McFadden admits he is feeling the heat, as the club begin their post season reviews.

"Everybody's positions are under the microscope at the moment so it is not a nice time," McFadden told Radio Sport today. "I knew that I was under pressure and a top eight spot was the mark that had been set so it is not a nice feeling at the moment."

"I've certainly got to take responsibility for where we finished. I felt like we were making some real progress but certainly the way we performed in the last month hasn't been good enough so I expect my position to come under question."

"We've [already] had some discussions around the season and there is no doubt we [are] gutted by the performance over the last month. We want to make sure we get through this review and not make any reactive decisions."

- NZ Herald

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