Kearney retains Kiwis head coaching role

Stephen Kearney

There was talk he was not going to retain the role but he has, with the New Zealand Rugby League keeping Stephen Kearney on as coach for at least the next two years.

At the helm for seven years to date and a former Kiwi captain himself, Kearney will also have the right of renewal through to the next Rugby League World Cup in 2017.

It was a relatively easy decision for the NZRL to make, as they believed Kearney was the best man for the job in several areas.

“Stephen was the strongest candidate, and presented his vision for the Kiwis strongly and passionately,” says NZRL chief executive Phil Holden.

“He really impressed the panel and demonstrated that he was the right man for the job.

“We’ve invested heavily in Stephen’s development at this level and, generally, we feel he’s elevated the programme significantly since taking over.

“We expect him to continue that progress and a two-year term will give us a chance to see how we’re tracking towards the next tournament, while also allowing us to put some focused resource and support around him to ensure that he succeeds.

“This process has helped identify some future candidates in succession planning, and helped Stephen to really look hard at his own performance and how he can improve that going forward.”

Although the most recent World Cup was not the best final result for New Zealand, Kearney has led the Kiwis to the 2008 World Cup title and the 2010 Four Nations title.

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