NRL outfit New Zealand Warriors have sacked Stephen Kearney after yesterday’s hammering at the hands of South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Kearney still had two years remaining on his contract but after a slow start to the 2020 season, CEO Cameron George decided it was time for the coach and club to part ways.
Assistant coach Todd Payten will take over on an interim basis with speculation now sure to increase about the possibility of Kearney taking the vacant coaching job at Hull FC, the club at which he finished his playing career.
Kearney has vast experience and despite a disappointing end to his spells in charge of both the Warriors and Parramatta Eels, he was hugely successful as New Zealand Kiwis head coach between 2008 and 2016.
However, his near four-year stint in charge of the NZ Warriors brought about a mere 42% win rate from 77 games.
Speaking on his departure, Warriors CEO George said: “These decisions are never easy and the times are always difficult to make, however we believe, the owners and myself, that after long considerations, and discussions, that this was the right thing for the club to do moving forward.
“It was certainly made harder by the fact that I couldn’t sit down with Stephen in person. But he’s been really professional through the discussions and I can’t speak highly enough of him.
“We need to make decisions in the best interest of the club moving forward. It’s certainly a decision we don’t make overnight.”