Warriors assistant coach Tony Iro has been granted an early release from his contract to pursue other opportunities, the club has announced.

Iro applied for the Warriors head coaching position following the sacking of Brian McClennan but was overlooked in favour of former Canberra and Penrith coach Matt Elliott.

He is now looking for a fresh start with the Roosters a likely destination.

Not only did Iro play 60 games for the Sydney club in the mid-1990s but friend and former strength and conditioning coach Craig Walker, who was brought to the Warriors under Ivan Cleary, has also returned to the Roosters.


Elliott said he had hoped Iro would stay for the 2013 season and beyond.

Iro had been with the Warriors since 2005 and coached the Junior Warriors in the inaugural Toyota Cup competition in 2008 before stepping up to assist Cleary in 2010. He took over as caretaker coach when McClennan was sacked with two games remaining this season.

He has also worked as Kiwis assistant since 2009.

Iro said the decision was a difficult one.

"After so long here, I had a lot to weigh up," he said.

"The Vodafone Warriors gave me the chance to start my coaching career. I've had plenty of great times with the club and I've learnt so much.

"I'm grateful for the chance I was given to start my coaching career here but I've decided to move on to explore other opportunities. I want to thank all the coaching staff, players past and present and staff I've enjoyed working with."

Vodafone Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah said the club had been keen for Iro to continue in the role he has filled with the NRL side for the past three seasons.

"Tony has made a major contribution since joining our football department in 2005, most recently with our NRL side," he said.

"It's disappointing he won't be staying on but we gave him time to make his decision and respect the choice he has made.

"We're extremely grateful for what Tony's done for the Vodafone Warriors. He is looking at other opportunities and we wish him and his family all the best for the future."