New Zealand Warriors interim coach Todd Payten is 'firming by the day' as replacing Stephen Kearney permanently in the role, according to reports.
According to Australian reports Payten and recently departed Cowboys coach Paul Green, who led his side to the 2015 NRL Premiership title, are the leading candidates for the position.
The other coaches linked to the role include former Wigan mentor Shaun Wane and Penrith Panthers boss Anthony Griffin. In recent days fellow candidates Ben and Shane Walker and former Manly coach Geoff Toovey that their applications were unsuccessful.
The Daily Telegraph's Dean Ritchie told NRL Tonight that Payten has emerged as the favourite.
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"The mail I'm getting is that Todd Payten is firming by the day, although Paul Green is now being mentioned as a possible candidate and the irony there is that Todd Payten is also being looked at by the Cowboys," he said.
"Perhaps it could be a strange situation where Payten goes to Green's job at the Cowboys and vice versa, Green goes across the Tasman to the Warriors but right now I think Todd Payten is favourite to be named as head coach of the Warriors"
Payten became interim head coach on June 20 following the sacking of Kearney in the wake of the side's 40-12 defeat to the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Since taking over the Warriors are 1-5 under Payten including heavy defeats to the Melbourne Storm and Cronulla Sharks. However the side produced a spirited performance in a 18-12 defeat to title favourites the Roosters last weekend.
An official decision by the club could be made as early as this week as they look to firm up the position.