SYDNEY (AP) " The Wests Tigers have hired Ivan Cleary as head coach to replace Jason Taylor, who was fired three weeks into the NRL season.

The club announced Monday that Cleary, who has logged 252 NRL games as a coach with Penrith Panthers and the New Zealand Warriors, had been contracted until the end of 2020.

Cleary took the Warriors to the grand final in 2011 and returned the Panthers to the finals for the first time in four years in 2014.

"It's no secret I've missed it. This is a fresh start for me and I'm committed to seeing this club reach its potential.:

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His immediate task it to get the Wests Tigers into the finals series for the first time since 2011. The Tigers, who won their season-opening match but have subsequently lost four straight, travel to Townsville this weekend to play the fourth-place North Queensland Cowboys.