They were on the lookout for some new assistants after a minor overhaul of the coaching structure and the New Zealand Rugby League have found their man, with former Raiders assistant coach Andrew McFadden joining the NZRL as an assistant coach.
On top of that, McFadden also enjoyed stints as an assistant coach at the New Zealand Warriors and with Super League side, the Catalan Dragons.
To go even further back, some fans will remember him as a player during his time with the Canberra Raiders, Melbourne Storm and Parramatta Eels.
At this stage, it looks as if McFadden will be the only assistant, with NZRL High Performance Manager Tony Iro stating that the organisation has opted to go in this direction for the time being.
“We looked at the option of appointing two assistants to share the load with Stephen,” says NZ Rugby League high performance manager Tony Iro.
“But with such a short preparation time, we decided to keep things really simple this time – we may reassess that for the Four Nations later in the year.
“Andrew provides a good link with the NZ-based players, who have given him a ringing endorsement.”
With the now Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary pulling out of the race and former Kiwi David Kidwell also in the running, the NZRL ultimately opted for McFadden as assistant, believing that he is the best man for the job.
“We felt, under the circumstances, Andrew offered more specific experience in the role as offensive coach and was a better fit for what we needed at this time,” says Iro.
For McFadden himself, he is excited in the new role that awaits him and says there is no concern or issue when it comes to allegiances.
“I’m extremely excited,” says McFadden, who claims no confusion over his mixed allegiances. “It’s a massive honour to be involved with the Kiwis.
“One thing you learn in rugby league is that your loyalty is to the team you’re with at that time.
“When I moved from Canberra to the Warriors, they became my team. Now, it’s no different for the Kiwis.”