Former England coach Steve McNamara has been named to assist NZ Kiwis coach David Kidwell for this year's Rugby League World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.

And experienced rugby league administrator Shane Richardson will take on a newly created role as the Kiwis campaign manager.

With the inclusion of Richardson to oversee the entire campaign, with an off-field and tournament-related focus, and McNamara's wealth of coaching experience, Kidwell has elected to have just one assistant coach at this stage for the 2017 campaign, which begins with an Anzac Test against Australia in Canberra on May 5 and culminates in the World Cup through October 27 to December 2.

Actor Russell Crowe and South Sydney CEO Shane Richardson watch on as the players warm up. Photo/Getty Images
Actor Russell Crowe and South Sydney CEO Shane Richardson watch on as the players warm up. Photo/Getty Images

'We had an independent review conducted after last year's Four Nations and that's where it was identified that in order for us to have a winning culture and ultimately give us the best shot at winning the Rugby League World Cup, there was a need for greater leadership, both on and off the field," sayd Kidwell, of his new appointments.

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"So, this has been my opportunity to lead in that department and I'm doing that by surrounding myself with the best in the business.

"Shane knows what it takes to build a lasting committed culture, as well as what it takes to win, having been the CEO at South Sydney for 11 years, including 2014 when they won the Premiership.

'Steve has spent time as an assistant at both the Sydney Roosters, as well as now at the Warriors, but he also knows international rugby league, having been the Great Britain assistant and the England Head Coach."

NZRL chief executive Alex Hayton, who instigated the independent review carried out by High Performance Sport NZ, supports outcomes of the report and the actions taken to address those findings.

"Shane and Steve are two quality experienced men, so having them on board will allow David the time and room to focus on what he does best, and that's coach the Kiwis."