The New Zealand Warriors are refusing to confirm whether they’d be interested in rolling out the welcome mat for former coach Daniel Anderson to replace Ivan Cleary at the helm next year.
Cleary announced on Wednesday that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season – a year before his contract lapsed – to take up a lucrative three-year deal with the Penrith Panthers.
Former New Zealand coach Brian McClennan remains the fans’ favourite to replace him, while Cleary’s assistant Tony Iro and the Warriors’ under-20s boss John Ackland are also in the mix.
Fairfax understands Iro is yet to make a decision on whether he even wants the job at this stage.
But Anderson, who coached the Warriors between 2001 and the middle of 2004, guiding them to the 2002 NRL grand final, hardly shut the door on a possible move back across the ditch when quizzed on the subject yesterday.
He is without an NRL head coaching job after parting ways with the Parramatta Eels at the end of last season to make way for Stephen Kearney.
Anderson said he wouldn’t be actively seeking the job but hinted that he would certainly take a phone call from Warriors CEO Wayne Scurrah if the club decided he was a potential option to replace Cleary.
“You never say never to anything,” he told Radio Sport of Cleary’s soon-to-be-vacant job.