May 24, 2019

NRL: Brian McClennan named NZ Warriors coach

Brian McClennan looking good, but not as good as the fabulous Leeds Rhinos sign behind him.

Former Kiwis and Leeds rugby league coach Brian McClennan has been named to take the NZ Warriors into the NRL next season.

At a press conference in Auckland today, Warriors Chief executive Wayne Scurrah said McClennan, 49, beat candidates from within the club and overseas, including the United Kingdom.

McClennan is replacing Ivan Cleary who is headed to the Penrith Panthers next year after six seasons in charge at the Warriors.

Warriors coaching staff Tony Iro and John Ackland were previously mentioned as contenders, as was England-based former Warrior Justin Morgan.

“Brian came through as the most suitable candidate. He has had outstanding results with every team he has been involved with, be it the Kiwis, the Leeds Rhinos or club teams in Auckland and we’re delighted one of the best coaches in New Zealand rugby league history is to be the next coach of the Warriors,” Scurrah said.

McClennan has been working as the Auckland Rugby League’s football development manager since coming home after a highly-successful term at Leeds when he guided the Rhinos to back-to-back English Super League titles and a world club championship crown from 2008-2010. His tenure at Leeds followed his stint as Kiwis coach from 2005-2007 when his crowning achievement was a 24-0 upset of the Kangaroos in the 2005 Tri-Nations final in Leeds.