Warriors coach Nathan Brown AXED after horror start NRL NZ legend Stacey Jones to step in


The axe has fallen on Nathan Brown at the New Zealand Warriors, with the club confirming the decision to part ways with the coach after an emergency board meeting on Tuesday morning. 

Reports emerged that Brown was not keen on making a fulltime move to New Zealand next season, and in a statement released by the club, CEO Cameron George said they were left with no choice but to sever ties. 

‘Nathan told us he had made a personal decision that for family reasons he wouldn’t be able to relocate to New Zealand as originally planned for the long term,’ he said.

‘We fully appreciate his position and the call he has made. Given those circumstances we agreed we needed to make an immediate change.’

Warriors coach Nathan Brown has been sacked

In the statement, George also thanked the contributions Brown has made during what has undoubtedly been the toughest period in the club’s history, thanks to COVID forcing them to move to Australia during the season.

‘It’s tough for everyone involved but, in the best interests of the club, we felt we had to go in a different direction now,’ he said.

‘Nathan has worked so hard for our club and we are extremely disappointed it has come to this. We’re truly grateful for what he has done and wish him and his family all the very best for the future.’

Brown has just 12 wins from 38 games in charge of the Warriors

Brown has just 12 wins from 38 games in charge of the Warriors

Brown, who played 172 games for St George, coached at the Dragons, Huddersfield, St Helens and Newcastle before taking the reins at the Warriors.

His win percentage across his last two clubs is just 29 per cent, and while the Warriors have been able to soldier through in tough times, the writing was on the wall after some horror defeats this season, which included a 60 point loss to the Storm. 

The Warriors have looked deflated and defeated of late, and have lost their last five matches

The Warriors have looked deflated and defeated of late, and have lost their last five matches

The side has lost seven of their past eight games, and it certainly won’t be easy to steer the ship around with 11 matches left in the season with the side sitting 14th on the ladder; just ahead of the lowly Titans and Bulldogs. 

It had become obvious Brown was feeling the stress after bizarre comments following the side’s horror 44-12 loss to Manly, in which he said the side hadn’t gone into every game thinking they could win.

‘We by no means have entered every game this year thinking we are going to win every contest, but we certainly would like to have competed in every contest,’ he said after the game. 

The Warriors are 14th on the ladder after just four wins this season

The Warriors are 14th on the ladder after just four wins this season

The comment was blasted by a number of pundits, most notably Benji Marshall.

Just two weeks ago, Brown told the Daily Telegraph he would revisit the decision to move to New Zealand next year at the end of the season; with the separation from his family, who live in the Sutherland Shire, proving to be difficult for both parties.

His daughter is also due to complete her HSC soon, and a move across the Tasman would be disruptive to the family. 

Stacey Jones (right) will coach the Warriors for the rest of the season

Stacey Jones (right) will coach the Warriors for the rest of the season

With Brown gone, former New Zealand and Warriors legend Stacey Jones is now stepping in as interim head coach. 

The legendary halfback played 261 games for the Warriors and 48 tests for New Zealand before going into coaching, and George said he was confident the ‘little master’ would give the interim role everything he had. 

‘Stacey’s love of the club and knowledge of it is unparalleled. He has been on the inside of it for close to 25 years. We’ll be giving him, staff and players all the support possible for the rest of the season,’ he said.

Current St Helens coach Kristian Woolf is expected to be one of the favourites for the vacant coaching role in 2023

Current St Helens coach Kristian Woolf is expected to be one of the favourites for the vacant coaching role in 2023

Will we see Woolf in Warriors coaching colours next year?

Will we see Woolf in Warriors coaching colours next year?

When it comes to the permanent role from 2023 onwards, St Helens coach Kristian Woolf is expected to be one of the top contenders following his huge success at the English powerhouse, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The Queensland-born coach has also led Tonga to huge wins on the international stage, and will be in high demand if he moves back to Australia next season, as is expected. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk