A change in management structure, a new assistant coach, a more unified team culture and - hopefully - the presence of Kieran Foran.

That's the blueprint for Kiwis success at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, as laid out by head coach David Kidwell and New Zealand Rugby League chief executive Alex Hayton.

The appointments of Shane Richardson (campaign manager) and Steve MacNamara (assistant coach) were announced this morning, as NZRL also spoke for the first time about the outcome of the review into the 2016 Four Nations tournament.

Given the relative strength of the Kiwis squad, it was one of the more disappointing campaigns in recent memory, with the infamous 18-18 draw with Scotland and a dismal performance in the final against Australia.


When reflecting on the tournament, Kidwell identified team culture as one of the failings of the 2016 campaign and a major work on for this year.

"When you come into the Kiwi camp, we want to do it the Kiwi way," said Kidwell. "Some things you might do in your NRL team, it is going to make you feel uncomfortable - at times - when we are doing something different in the Kiwi camp.

"I want people that are aligned with our values and our standards, and that will hopefully drive some of that on-field performance. One thing I learnt about last year, I want players who want to play in the Kiwi jersey and that is how I will be picking the team."

Hayton added that "[there are] 16 different club cultures in the NRL, [but] we only want one culture within the Kiwis and it is making sure that everyone is in sync with that culture."

This contrasts with the messages coming out of the Kiwis camp last year on tour, which constantly emphasised the strong team culture and values inherent in the group.

In other learnings from the review, Hayton said that Stephen Kearney's last-minute departure to the Warriors was "unfortunate timing" and that there needed to be a better structure around Kidwell this year, so he could focus more on the team.

"We have tended to have an NRL-type environment where everything sits with the head coach," said Hayton. "[That] might work fine, week-in and week-out, but we really want the head coach to focus on the football side of the team.

"This structure enables David to do that, and {team manager Nadene Conlon] and Shane [Richardson] can take care of everything else."

Kidwell admitted he looked at himself "deeply" after the performance in the final and is committed to building stronger relationships with "key leaders" this year.

It was a press conference full of buzzwords - culture, alignment, values - but noticeably light on specifics and detail.

Kidwell played a straight bat around the impending NRL return of Foran, but there were hints that he would be fast-tracked back into the Kiwis environment.

"I've seen Kieran in the past when he wears the Kiwis jumper and he controls the game very well," said Kidwell. "When Kieran plays an NRL game, I'll be watching him like any other Kiwi in the NRL.

"Hopefully, he plays within the next two or three weeks."

Aside from MacNamara, who spent five year as Lions head coach, Kidwell will look to appoint "another quality coach" as assistant after May's Anzac test.

Richardson's role is less clear - the Kiwis haven't had a designated campaign manager at a World Cup before - but will focus on logistics, planning and off-field planning, and also act as a mentor for Kidwell.

Richardson, who is football manager at Souths, previously worked with Kidwell at the Rabbitohs, when the New Zealander coached the Under-20s team in 2010.