Dean Bell named chair of panel to appoint next New Zealand coach

Drew Darbyshire

Dean Bell will chair a high-powered panel to lead the process of finding the best candidate to be the next coach of New Zealand.

Frank Endacott, Monty Betham and Waimarama Taumaunu will interview candidates and make recommendations to the New Zealand Rugby League board, who will finalise the appointment.

The position is now officially open to all interested applicants and a new rule brought in by the NZRL means applicants do not have to be just New Zealanders anymore. Applications will close on April 6.

Reon Edwards, NZRL chairman, said: “A key recommendation of the post 2017 World Cup review was that there should be more transparency and rigor around various appointments.

“This independent panel is a great step forward for what is going to be a busy year for the game.”

Bell added: “With the depth of rugby league talent the Kiwis have at their disposal, we should be challenging the best international sides, including Australia, and achieving consistent success.

“I’ve already spoken with other members of the panel and as a group, we’re determined to support the NZRL in moving on from the issues raised in the review of the last World Cup campaign.

“We need to make sure that Test football is given the status it deserves.”