Kearney stays on as Kiwis coach

Stephen Kearney is to continue as New Zealand coach for at least two more seasons.

After seven years at the helm, including two World Cup finals, NZRL decided to test the market for other options, and fielded applications from David Kidwell, Richie Blackmore and Dewsbury coach Glenn Morrison.

However, Kearney remained the strongest candidate, and his new contract has a right of renewal through the next World Cup in 2017.

NZRL chief Phil Holden said: “Stephen was the strongest candidate, and presented his vision for the Kiwis strongly and passionately.

“He really impressed the panel and demonstrated that he was the right man for the job.

“We’ve invested heavily in Stephen’s development at this level and, generally, we feel he’s elevated the programme significantly since taking over.

“We expect him to continue that progress and a two-year term will give us a chance to see how we’re tracking towards the next tournament, while also allowing us to put some focused resource and support around him to ensure that he succeeds.

“This process has helped identify some future candidates in succession planning, and helped Stephen to really look hard at his own performance and how he can improve that going forward.”

The Kiwis won the 2008 World Cup and the 2010 Four Nations under Kearney, but lost the 2013 World Cup final 34-2 to Australia in November.

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