Warriors axe Brown, Jones interim coach

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George says he wants their next head coach to be a "hard arse" who can end the struggling NRL club's long wait for a maiden premiership.

On Tuesday the Warriors announced the exit of Nathan Brown just 18 months after he was handed the reins by George.

Brown was the New Zealand club's third head coach in as many seasons and the 48-year-old will be replaced by club great Stacey Jones in a caretaker role.

The club sacked Stephen Kearney in 2020 and interim coach Todd Payten looked set to replace him before he opted to take the North Queensland job.

Brown said personal reasons meant he didn't want to permanently relocate to New Zealand beyond next season, although the fact the Warriors had one win from their last eight games meant he was clinging to his role.

The Warriors have been Australia-based since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020 and will return to Auckland for fly-in, fly-out games later this year.

Situated in Queensland for the 2022 season, they will return to New Zealand on a permanent basis next year.

Whoever comes in to take the job will be doing so from a low base - the club has made finals just once since 2012 and hasn't won a title since joining the competition in 1995.

"We have been trying to survive in a lot of aspects of our club (but) it doesn't give us a free pass from not winning," George said.

"By the number of phone calls and messages I've got today, selling the club to potential coaches is not going to be too hard.

"We haven't won that premiership yet and we want that next coach to be the first person to lead us to a premiership.

"We're not scared of a rookie coach. To be honest, I want to see someone who is a bit of a hard arse. We need to steel up our defence and attitude."

The new coach will have little wiggle room to put his stamp on the roster given Brown was afforded the opportunity to recruit Mitch Barnett, Marata Niukore, Luke Metcalf and Dylan Walker for next season.

Matt Lodge and David Fusitua are being paid to not be at the club and Warriors' junior ranks have also been decimated by an exodus of players to Australian clubs due to COVID-19 restrictions.

George said he was expecting all the players signed to the club for 2023 to be there at the start of the pre-season with their new head coach.

"We're in no hurry," he said of the search for Brown's replacement.

"Stacey is in the role for the rest of the season.

"We'd like to have an indication (on the head coach) by August to allow us to plan for the pre-season."

Already Kiwis coach Michael Maguire may be one option for the Warriors after he was shown the door by the Wests Tigers hours after Brown's exit.

Tonga and St Helens coach Kristian Woolf is another potential suitor for the Warriors role.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting