Warriors legend Reuben Wiki has secured a full time job with the NRL club, being named as a strength and conditioning coach.
Wiki was the first-grade team's defensive coach on a part-time basis this year but will feel much more comfortable returning to a fitness role, an area he has helped the club with previously.
His latest appointment comes four years after he retired from playing and keeps him in the hub of the club which has expanded their training staff to work alongside new head coach Matt Elliott.
Wiki will be in the strength and conditioning mix with Carl Jennings who joins the club after spending a year working with the Crusader Super Rugby squad.
Otara-raised Wiki said he couldn't wait to embrace his job when the Warriors reconvene on Monday to start their pre-Christmas off-season training programme.
"I'm so excited about being back here. I love this place and being involved with the players like this is my passion," said Wiki, who will step aside as the New Zealand Rugby League's high performance manager to work in club football on a daily basis.
"I can't thank the NZRL enough for the opportunity I had with them. I've learnt so much from my time with them but now I'm ready to get into working with my club again and doing all I can to help us be as good as we can possibly be.
"I'm really looking to working with Matt (Elliott) again and also Carl. We go back to the Canberra days."
Wiki's 225-game Canberra career ran from 1993-2004 before he joined the Vodafone Warriors. Elliott was on the Raiders' coaching staff from 2001-2006 while Jennings was head strength and conditioning coach.
"I'm delighted to be working with Ruben again," said Elliott.
"As a person, he models the culture we want to develop at the Vodafone Warriors.
"What he offers as a person sits alongside the skill set he brings with him for this job. First and foremost there's his obvious wealth of experience as player at the highest level and since retiring he has also become a skilled practitioner in the strength and conditioning field. He has the whole package."
Apart from his strength and conditioning role, Elliott said Wiki would also contribute in a coaching capacity by mentoring NRL players.
As well as announcing Wiki's appointment, Jennings confirmed three other staff - sports science manager Brad Morris, rehab and speed coach Dayne Norton and performance analyst Adam Sadler.
"Our training staff will be involved across the club from our NRL team through to the NYC team and the development squad as well as the Vulcans (in the New South Wales Cup)," said Jennings.
"We will be taking an integrated approach to all we do, adopting a whole of club mentality."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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