The New Zealand Warriors have officially confirmed the appointment of a new head coach along with a blockbuster consultant signing.
News throughout the week pointed to Nathan Brown earning the top role and on Saturday the Warriors made it official.
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The former Newcastle and St George Illawarra coach will take over the reins of the club in 2021 after putting pen to paper on a three-year deal.
The Warriors also announced the blockbuster signing of NRL guru Phil Gould in the role of a consultant. Gould has won premierships and State of Origin series as a coach, worked in club administration and is a longtime Channel 9 commentator who is well respected for his vast knowledge of the game.
Gould will work alongside Brown in strategic areas to help build the Warriors’ profile in Australia, Warriors CEO Cameron George said.
“This appointment is exceptionally significant and critical to the future of our business as a whole and equally to the game in general both in New Zealand and in Australia,” George told Stuff.co.nz.
“Phil is held in the highest regard as a rugby league expert both on and off the park.
“He’ll play a huge role in helping to take us to a new level as a club.”
George said the club was overjoyed with the signings after Stephen Kearney was sacked as coach in June.
“We couldn’t be more delighted to have Nathan as our new head coach,” George said in a conference call.
“He has had an extensive involvement in the game as both a first-grade player and then as a coach in the NRL and the Super League.
“He already has a relationship with our players, football staff and our club after being with us as a coaching consultant working with our hookers this season.
“Nathan’s a terrific person who brings tremendous qualities to the role in every sense.”
Brown initially withdrew from the race for the Warriors top spot but threw his hat back into the ring when interim coach Todd Payten turned down the role.
“I’m a career coach. I just love coaching and this job with the Vodafone Warriors is a fantastic opportunity,” Brown said.
“I spent time in Auckland during the pre-season and was really impressed with the whole set-up, the players and the staff throughout the organisation.
“The Vodafone Warriors are hugely important to the competition. We’ve seen that this year with the sacrifices they’ve made to keep the NRL going. I can’t wait to get stuck in.”
NRL: The Warriors defeated the Manly Sea Eagles 26-22 in their round 13 clash.
Originally published as Blockbuster Phil Gould news announced