With a new deal in the works, Stephen Kearney could become the longest serving coach in the Warriors history.

Kearney's current three year contract is up at the end of next season, and informal talks have already started on a new one.

Warriors CEO Cameron George wouldn't be drawn on specifics, but the Herald understands there is a desire from the club for a long term deal, similar to the four year contract agreed with captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck last February.

Such a move will be a relief to Warriors fans, who have grown accustomed to coaching chaos.


Usually around this time of year at Mt Smart there are questions hovering over the man in the hot seat; that was the case for five of the last seven seasons.

But not now; while there are up to 10 other NRL clubs potentially caught up in the current coaching dramas, the Warriors won't be part of it.

"Stephen and I trust each other," George told the Herald. "We have a very close personal and working relationship [and] because of that him and I know where we are going.

"We both have [the] same desire to be here; I want him here and he wants to be here. The last thing he needs is to be anywhere near that merry-go-round [in Australia].

"The board have endorsed my view on Stephen [and] stability is crucial for us, for long term success and that is what everyone is after."

Stability has been rare for coaches at the Warriors.

The exception was Ivan Cleary, who lasted six years (2006-2011) before his controversial exit while Daniel Anderson left midway through his fourth season in 2004.

John Monie (1995-1997) and Andrew McFadden (2014-2016) were the only other ones to last more than two seasons, while six others had 50 games or less.


It's early days, but Kearney could eventually outlast them all, given his oft-stated desire to build something long-term at the club.

Kearney has sowed the seeds of success, after a painful introduction last year, where the Warriors only won seven games.

Given the amount of young talent at the club, Kearney will sense a chance to start a dynasty, as he observed at both the Storm and Broncos.

"We are having talks, just informal talks," said Kearney. "I wanted to make sure that we put the right group together first. We needed the right replacement for Cappy (Andrew McFadden), and we have found Todd [Payten]. We have shored up Stacey [Jones] and Tony [Iro]. My situation will happen, when it happens."

Kearney also implied he has no desire to coach anywhere else, and hinted that he would like to be at Mt Smart into the next decade.

"I wasn't going to spend two years apart from my family if I wasn't committed to this footy club," said Kearney, when asked if he would contemplate a return to Australia.

"I'm dead set committed to making sure we get the club to a situation where it is reaching its potential and finding its capability all the time. I'm confident we can make that happen."

But Kearney also indicated he was in no hurry, and had other pressing priorities.

"My focus is on the three weeks [left] in the regular season, and I want to make sure my energy is all on that," said Kearney. "I don't want to be distracted by that stuff. I'm sure it will all work out, when it does."

Most games as Warriors coach

1. Ivan Cleary - 154 (2006-2011)
2. Daniel Anderson - 92 (2001-2004)
3. Andrew McFadden - 67 (2014-2016)
4. John Monie - 60 (1995-1997)
5. Mark Graham - 50 (1999-2000)
6. Stephen Kearney - 45 (2017-present)

Others: Frank Endacott, Matthew Elliott, Tony Kemp, Brian McClennan, Tony Iro