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Kearney to add new ideas to Warriors

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/09/2016
Stephen Kearney will not coach the Kiwis. © Getty Images Stephen Kearney will not coach the Kiwis.

New Warriors coach Stephen Kearney will add the fresh voice and thinking required to push the club towards NRL success, according to chief executive Jim Doyle.

Kearney called time on his nine-year stint as Kiwis coach on Tuesday to sign a three-year deal with the Warriors, where he will become the club's 11th coach.

The former Warriors foundation player, 44, will replace Andrew McFadden in the top job after the Australian failed to lead his side into the 2016 NRL finals.

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The tenth-placed finish signalled the third consecutive year in which McFadden oversaw a failed finals tilt.

He has been demoted by Doyle to assistant coach.

Club great Stacey Jones will join McFadden as assistant after being promoted from the NSW Cup side, while 2015 assistants Justin Morgan and Andrew Webster have been sacked.

Kearney will finish a four-season stint as Brisbane Broncos assistant coach when they conclude their finals campaign.

Doyle told reporters on Tuesday that Kearney's experience with the club and success with the Kiwis convinced him he was the right man for the job.

The club required a new approach after consistently failing in recent years to produce the goods on the park.

He was constantly looking at different options to improve the team and gauged Kearney's interest in the job a few weeks ago.

"If you're not getting the two points, you need to think about what needs to change," Doyle said.

"We just felt we needed a fresh voice, fresh thinking, but at the same time we're conscious of some continuity."

McFadden, who took over the side from the sacked Matthew Elliott in 2014, had supposedly voiced his desire to stay on and contribute to the project.

Doyle dismissed concerns of disunity as a result of McFadden's retention, saying the new assistant had acknowledged the need for change.

Kearney and McFadden had also discussed their new roles in depth.

"He was really keen to be part of it, he just wants to coach," Doyle said.

"It's not about one coach out, one coach in.

"It's about creating a team capable of getting success."

Kearney struggled as head coach with Parramatta in 2011 and 2012, winning just 10 of 42 games.

However Doyle felt Kearney would take the lessons from that experience into his new coaching role, including his decision to resign from the Kiwis.

"He's had a go at Parramatta in the past but I think that was the wrong time and wrong place," Doyle said.

"Like most of us, we tend to learn more from adversity than success, but he's had a lot of success with the Kiwis.


"He said straight away that if he takes on the head coach role, he can't stay on with the Kiwis."

Kearney, who will address reporters on Tuesday afternoon (NZT), said the club meant a lot to him.

He made 79 appearances for the club in a four-year stint, as well as 45 Tests for the Kiwis.

"This a great opportunity to take the football department in a new direction," Kearney said earlier on Tuesday.

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