Warriors' head coach Kearney signs three-year extension

Stephen Kearney is set to become the joint longest-serving head coach in New Zealand Warriors history after signing a three-year extension with the club.

The former Kiwis coach was appointed by the Warriors in 2017 and his fresh deal will take him through to 2022, equalling the tenure of Ivan Cleary (2006-2011).

Kearney spent four seasons as a player with Auckland Warriors in the 1990s, meaning his connection with the club will extend to 10 campaigns.

"When I first came back to the club, I was honoured to be given the opportunity to help the club move forward and improve," he said.

"I'm pleased to have my future sorted out with this new contract and to know I'll be with the club for a few more years.

"We made progress last season but, to be honest, the focus for me is always what's next for us and that's preparing for this week's trial against Wests Tigers in Whangarei."

Warriors CEO Cameron George added: "It's vital to have the right people in the right roles and in Stephen we have someone who absolutely fits what we need. He has all the characteristics you would want as both a coach and a person.

"We've been talking with Stephen for some time about ensuring he remains to continue the work that has been going on and we couldn't be more pleased he's staying on for another three years.

"He's very professional, he has a very good relationship with his staff and players and has hands-on experience as a premiership-winning player, a Test player and a coach who has all the attributes needed. Stephen is a big part of our future."

The Warriors' first game of the new NRL season, against Canterbury Bulldogs on March 16, will be Kearney's 50th as head coach.

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