Kidwell frontrunner as new Kiwis coach...

League: David Kidwell the frontrunner as new Kiwis coach

10:21 AM Tuesday Sep 13, 2016

David Kidwell is the leading contender to replace Stephen Kearney as coach of the Kiwis.

Kearney was last night named as new head coach at the Warriors, replacing Andrew McFadden on a three-year deal.

Kidwell has worked under Kearney as an assistant coach over the last three years and is in line to take over the reins before the Kiwis upcoming transtasman test against Australia in Perth on October 15 and their Four Nations defence in the UK through November.

New Zealand Rugby League chief executive Alex Hayton confirmed Kidwell was a leading contender for the head coaching role while a couple of other contenders are also being assessed with an appointment expected to be made in the coming days.

The NZRL are looking to appoint Kearney’s successor to take charge of the national side through to the end of next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

“The obvious candidate is David Kidwell because he has been assistant coach over the last three years,” Hayton said.

"He’s in the system, knows the culture and we have had a discussion with David and we’re also talking to a couple of other people.

“We’ll work through that process over the next couple of days and hopefully we can make an appointment quickly so that we can move on.”

Kearney contacted the NZRL last weekend to advise he was close to signing with the Warriors and would be standing down from his post as national coach.

Stephen Kearney was this morning announce as the new Warriors head coach, while Andrew McFadden has been demoted to an assistant role.

Hayton admitted the timing of his departure was not ideal but said Kearney has offered to head to Perth to help ease the transition for the new coach in the lead-up to the test against the Kangaroos at Nib Stadium.

The 44-year-old however will not be going on to the UK as he turns his attention to his new role with the Warriors.

“Stephen has offered to go to Perth and transition and help do a transition if the new coach would like that support,” he said.

"But he has also indicated he couldn’t commit to going to the UK.

"Is the timing perfect, no, but these opportunities don’t come up too often.

"It’s a fantastic opportunity for him and we’re really happy for him.

“We wish him and the Warriors all the success.”

While Kidwell is the standout candidate to step into the role, Hayton confirmed the lack of top quality New Zealand-born coaches meant consideration would be given to appointing a foreign coach with the right credentials.

"There aren’t many Kiwis within high profile positions within rugby league coaching ranks so we have to be open to someone else.

“And then it would really very much come down to their personality and their understanding of what we are trying to achieve as a team.”

  • NZ Herald

So the Kangaroos only have to worry about the Poms now….

Kidwell promoted to Kiwis head coach
After three years as assistant coach, David Kidwell has been appointed to guide the NZ Kiwis into next year’s Rugby League World Cup as head coach.

Kidwell (Kiwi #679) will fill the role on a full-time basis, replacing predecessor Stephen Kearney, who was named Vodafone Warriors head coach earlier this week.
His first assignment will be next month’s test against Australia in Perth and the Four Nations tournament in England.

“I feel humbled and privileged to be named head coach of the Kiwis,” says Kidwell, who played 24 tests for his country from 1999-2008, including the victorious 2008 World Cup triumph.

“As assistant, I’ve watched Stephen building a strong culture within the programme and I want to make sure that is upheld and becomes even stronger. That’s the message I’ll be giving to our senior players.

“I’ll add my own individual style to the Kiwis, but as far as culture and values and belief in ourselves, I’m determined to uphold these foundations of our house, as we say. That passion for the black-and-white jersey is paramount.”

Kidwell’s appointment to the top job was a logical step, given his apprenticeship under Kearney and his experience as an NRL assistant coach, most recently at Wests Tigers. He also coached the NZ Junior Kiwis in 2011-12.

“David has been part of a succession plan for when the head coach role became vacant,” says NZRL chief executive Alex Hayton. “He has contributed to the development of the Kiwis team culture, brings continuity and certainty to the playing group over the next 14 months, leading into the Rugby League World Cup.

“David will be contracted full-time through to January 2018. This will allow David to focus 100% on the role, but also assist in pushing the Kiwis brand among young players of NZ heritage living in Australia and attend various events in New Zealand to promote the game.”

One of Kidwell’s first priorities over the next few days will be to recruit a coaching staff that continues the line of succession.

David Kidwell Careers Stats
Born April 23, 1977 in Christchurch
Second row/centre
209 NRL games (1997-2009) for Adelaide Rams, Parramatta Eels, Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm & South Sydney Rabbitohs
32 games (2001-02) for Warrington Wolves
24 tests (1999-2008) for NZ Kiwis
Three games (2000) for NZ Maori

Coached Rabbitohs U20s to 2010 Toyota Cup final, lost to Warriors
Premier assistant coach at Melbourne Storm & Wests Tigers
Junior Kiwis coach 2011-12
NZ Kiwis assistant coach 2014-16

……and this is the club where coaches apparently go to die. Yet now we have two (Sheens and Kidwell) going on to coach international glory.

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