Underdoing a slew of coaching changes ahead of the 2017 season, the next piece of the puzzle is complete at the New Zealand Warriors with the appointment of a new assistant coach.
That new assistant coach is former England coach Steve McNamara who has agreed to a two-year deal with the Warriors.
Most recently, McNamara was assistant coach of the Sydney Roosters for the last three years.
His coaching experience was a big factor in the decision to appoint him as an assistant.
“Steve has tremendous coaching credentials through his time as England’s head coach as well as his experience with Bradford in the Super League and now the Roosters in the NRL,” said Vodafone Warriors managing director Jim Doyle.
“In joining Stephen, Cappy (Andrew McFadden) and Stacey (Jones), Steve completes our NRL coaching staff for next season.
“We’re excited about being able to bring this group of coaches together as we strive to lift our standards. Certainly our senior players and the whole NRL squad will now have better coaching support than they’ve ever had before.”
Equally pleased is McNamara himself, who is looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead at the Warriors.
“I’ve learnt so much about the NRL in my three seasons with the Roosters, adding to past experience with England and Bradford,” he said.
“Now I’m really excited about this next step in my coaching career, coming to Auckland and working with Stephen and a great coaching group.”
McNamara is also looking forward to working with Kearney and believes the Warriors have all the potential in the world to succeed.
“I am in no doubt that the Vodafone Warriors have the players to make a mark in the NRL and I want to do all I can to help make that happen,” said McNamara.
“I have the greatest admiration for Stephen from the days when we were opposing coaches of our national teams. He has done wonderfully well with the Kiwis and I’m sure he’s going to do a terrific job with the Vodafone Warriors.”
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney also praised the signing and knows that despite once being adversaries, that the two can get along well in the coaching ranks.
“While Steve and I were adversaries in our roles with our national teams, we formed a great relationship,” he said.
“He brings qualities that will give us a really strong and experienced coaching group as we look ahead to take the Vodafone Warriors to the level we collectively expect of this club.
“There’s much work to do but with Steve, Cappy and Stacey we have a coaching team that can really lift standards and bring about the improvements we must make to be consistently competitive in the NRL.”