NRL Rd 7 - Storm v Warriors
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Warriors interim head coach Todd Payten speaks to media in the post match press conference during the round seven NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on June 26, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Interim Warriors coach Todd Payten has made the shock revelation that he turned down the full-time job on Monday.

Speaking on Fox Sports’ NRL 360 on Monday night, Payten revealed he has decided to not take the role in Auckland.

“I had a job interview 10 to 14 days ago. It went well. I’d been offered the job last Monday and I told the club I’m going to turn it down,” Payten said. “It just wasn’t the right opportunity for myself and my family.”

“It’s not an easy decision, something I agonised over for a few days but in the end, it was the first time I’ve put my family first in the decision. It just wasn’t the right timing.”

Payten then went on to reveal that family health issues have also impacted his decision

“My wife’s father just started chemotherapy,” he said.

“That was at the forefront of our mind. Obviously with the COVID thing, for her to travel back and forth is very, very difficult.

“That was a big part of it. That’s my decision and I’ve made it.

“It was tough for everyone. The club was shocked and disappointed. Moving forward, my focus is on getting the side prepared from week to week.”

With Paul Green walking away from the Cowboys top job, Payten confirmed his interest in returning to the club where he has previously served as an assistant.

“There’s another opportunity that’s on the table… that is the Cowboys.

“I’m not in any process at the moment, they’re just aware of my interest.”

Speculation has continued that the Warriors are targeting Wayne Bennett for the vacant coaching position for 2021, with Anthony Griffin and Green also touted as contenders.

The Warriors have previously rejected interest from Geoff Toovey and Ben and Shane Walker.