With new Warriors coach Matt Elliott to pick and choose his assistants for next season, following the departure of Tony Iro, he has named one – with New Zealand U18's and Auckland Vulcans coach Ricky Henry, named by Elliott as an assistant coach for the 2013 NRL season.
Henry, who is regarded as one of the coaches with the most potential in New Zealand at just age 34, Henry has seen a progression of roles since his playing career – serving as the club's development coach for two and a half years, before taking over the Auckland Vulcans in February of this year.
Henry thought it may have taken him longer to get a crack in the NRL in a position such as assistant, but it is one he believes he is ready for, as he looks forward to role that he will play at the club.
â€œItâ€™s a huge honour and thrill for me to be given this opportunity by the club,â€ he said.
â€œThe Vodafone Warriors gave me my big break in the first place with the development squad and to now have a role working with Matt and the NRL side is everything I could want.
â€œIâ€™ve been fortunate to benefit from coaching the Vulcans a
nd also the New Zealand Under-18s, roles which allowed me to remain in contact with a lot of Vodafone Warriors players. There are also a lot of other players still with us who came through the development programme when I was involved.
â€œNow I want to do all I can to support Matt, to develop as a coach and to make a difference as we all work together to make our club the best it can be.â€
For Elliott, he said that Henry had an immediate effect on him, so he felt it was apt to get him on board as an assistant.
â€œThe first time I met Ricky was to discuss the Vulcans and his role with the team,â€ he said.
â€œThe way he connected purely on a personal level was so impressive from the outset but he also came across powerfully with his skill set in both rugby league and professional terms.
â€œI instantly saw him as being a key part of our NRL coaching staff and the clubâ€™s vision.â€
With pathways in place for coaches in New Zealand, this was the very matter that Warriors General Manager of Football Operations, Dean Bell, pointed out.
â€œWhen Ricky left to take on his job with the Vulcans, it was a vital stage of his development,â€ he said.
â€œWeâ€™ve always seen a future for him at the Vodafone Warriors.â€