Tony Iro
Endorsed by Kearney

Parramatta Eels and Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney says Tony Iro is the “logical choice” as the next coach of the New Zealand Warriors and believes he would do a “wonderful job” with the club.

Warriors assistant coach Iro and former Kiwis boss Brian McLennan are the early frontrunners to replace Ivan Cleary, who is joining Penrith next season on a three-year deal.

Kearney ruled himself out of the race as Cleary’s replacement – he is contracted to the Eels through to 2013 – and said there was “zero chance” he would seek a release.

While believing both Iro and McLennan would do a good job with the Warriors, Kearney went into bat for Iro, who is also his assistant coach with the Kiwis.

“Obviously I’ve worked with Tony Iro over the last three years with the New Zealand side so I know him very well,” Kearney said.

“I’m sure Tony would do a wonderful job if he was to get that position. He’s been a part of that system for a fair while and worked with a lot of the kids that have come through from the under-20s up into first grade so to me, that would be the logical choice.”