Rugby League

NRL 2020: Nathan Brown to become New Zealand Warriors head coach

The New Zealand Warriors are set to announce Nathan Brown as the club’s new head coach less than a week after interim coach Todd Payten announced he had rejected the position.

Multiple media outlets are reporting the former St George Illawarra Dragons and Newcastle Knights mentor is set to take the reigns of the club.

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Coming less than a week after Payten took to NRL 360 to reveal he had been offered — and rejected — the job at the Warriors, New Zealand have wasted no time in moving on Brown.

7 News NRL journalist Michelle Bishop revealed that the announcement “was imminent” on Twitter, while Nine’s Danny Weidler said the talks had “recommenced today” with a deal to be done by the end of the weekend.

The Daily Telegraph’s David Riccio added that “Within the next 48-hours, Phil Gould will be announced as a consultant to the @NZWarriors with Nathan Brown the head coach through until 2023. All terms have been agreed by phone and with no paperwork yet signed, but Brown has agreed to start in November.”

Speaking on Triple M, Brown didn’t deny he was in line for the coaching job, with news during his grilling from his co-hosts that he had pulled out of the Cowboys coaching race.

“The truth is, I‘m a career coach, I love coaching and the Warriors job is a great opportunity, as is the Cowboys job,” Brown said.

“I‘m always in dialogue with the Warriors because I actually work for them as a consultant, so there’s a lot of truth that I do talk to the Warriors.”

Brown refused to speculate on Weilder’s tweet, and after six weeks ago saying he was out of the running, he was refusing to discuss the speculation, saying “I won’t comment on speculation” several times.

Nathan Brown was sacked as Knights coach last year but joined the Warriors as a consultant.Source:Getty Images

As the news came through, Fox League were quick to speak about the potential move.

“I really like it,” Michael Ennis said on Fox League. “He had great success as a young coach albeit not winning a premiership with the Dragons but regularly in the finals. He went overseas and got St Helens to win a premiership and then he came back and did a terrific job at Newcastle in terms of getting them out of what was a difficult period, did a wonderful job building that roster that Adam O’Brien is now coaching and brought some great names to club. Knowing Browny’s nature, and the way that he coaches and the way he handles individuals I think that is exactly what the Warriors need.”

Former Queensland half Ben Ikin said it was somewhat of a backflip from the former Knights coach.

“The last conversation I had with Nathan Brown was that he didn’t want to go to a club where there would be another rebuild,” he said. “And he’s going to Warriors.”

Greg Alexander said the first things he would look at was a half and a hooker to build the club.

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