Insiders claim Brian McClennan is now a near-certainty as the New Zealand Warriors coach, provided he can work within the current structure.
Chief executive Wayne Scurrah is on leave until July 18 so a decision is unlikely before then – but McClennan’s pedigree, taking the Kiwis to 2005 Tri Nations success and Leeds to the 2008 and 2009 Super League titles, is seen as too good to ignore.
Tony Iro is expected to continue as assistant coach. The pair have got on well in the past with McClennan rating Iro enough to bring him into the Kiwis management structure in 2006 and 2007. It appears a logical solution with Warriors under-20s coach (and McClennan family friend) John Ackland liaising with the pair to capitalise on his knack for talent identification.
The process of bringing McClennan into the fold will not be rushed. Club management have acknowledged the need for continuity but not at the expense of rattling the team’s premiership chances with eight rounds remaining.