Brian McClennan: I don't want Kiwis coach job

BEN STANLEY
Last updated 05:02 04/12/2013
Brian McClennan
NO INTEREST: Brian "Bluey" McClennan

Relevant offers

League

Kiwis playmaker Kieran Foran signs new four-year contract with Parramatta Eels State of Origin: Why NSW Blues coach Laurie Daley won't give up on Robbie Farah Hooker Apisai Koroisau to quit Penrith Panthers and join Manly Sea Eagles on three-year deal Cronulla Sharks hooker Michael Ennis cops one-game ban for high shot Penrith Panthers go back-to-back with win over South Sydney Rabbitohs Kiwis playmaker Kieran Foran to accept new deal from Parramatta Eels Canterbury Bulls rugby league team to return to familiar pen NSW halfback Trent Hodkinson resigned to leaving Canterbury Bulldogs State of Origin III: Robbie Farah has plate inserted in hand to be fit for decider Suspended Kirisome Auva'a cleared for return to rugby league

Former Kiwis coach Brian McClennan has taken his name out of the running for the vacant role of coaching the national rugby league team - but believes whoever takes up the challenge needs to be a New Zealander.

Stephen Kearney's contract as Kiwis coach ran out after New Zealand were embarrassed 34-2 by Australia in the Rugby League World Cup final in Manchester last week, and is yet to decide whether he will re-apply for the role.

McClennan coached New Zealand 22 times between 2005 and 2007, recording eight test wins while in charge and leading the Kiwis to the Three Nations crown in 2005.

However, the former Warriors coach, who also coached Leeds to Super League titles in 2008 and 2009, isn't interested in the role.

"I've run my race - I'm not interested," McClennan told Fairfax Media.

Kearney, who has coached the Kiwis since 2008, must be given time to consider his options McClennan said, before adding that whoever follows the Broncos assistant coach needs to be a Kiwi.

"First and foremost, Stephen deserves the respect of being able to sit down and reflect on whether he wants to carry on forward," McClennan said.

"The fact of the matter is he has been the only coach of a New Zealand team to win a World Cup and Four Nations. Give him some time, and let him work out what he wants to do.

"We don't have a lot of New Zealand coaches, in the game [at the moment]. The game is getting more and more professional each year, too.

"There's been people crying out for this and that - and at times like this, you've got to take stock and think things over rationally. But I believe it should be a New Zealand coach."

McClennan, who was hugely impressed by the impact star Roosters back rower Sonny Bill Williams has made on the Kiwis over the last six weeks, said the Kiwis seemed to lack "conditioning" during the World Cup.

The former Kiwis coach admitted an early lack of possession made it difficult for New Zealand to build a foundation to attack from in the Old Trafford final.

"In some ways with the Kiwis, it was almost like they lost a bit of conditioning," he said.

"They looked really lethargic against England - you just watch the shape off the ball and who is moving.

"I understand in the final that 60 per cent possession to 40 - it just sucks juice out of you. Not only that, they were starting sets off their own line.

"You can't sustain it. That's actually what we were supposed to do to them."

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your pick for international league player of the year?

Shaun Johnson

Jesse Bromwich

Sam Burgess

James Graham

Greg Inglis

Johnathan Thurston

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content