McFadden named new Kiwis assistant coach

Last updated 11:08 27/03/2014

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Warriors assistant coach Andrew McFadden has been named as the new assistant coach for the Kiwis, replacing Ivan Cleary.

The Australian, who worked with the Raiders before following Matt Elliott to Auckland last year, is regarded as a coach with a huge future ahead of him.

He will work with Kiwis head coach Stephen Kearney for the Anzac Test in Sydney on May 2.

New Zealand Rugby League had intended to have two assistant coaches working with Kearney in the future, but McFadden will be the only person in that role for the upcoming test.

"We looked at the option of appointing two assistants to share the load with Stephen," NZRL high performance manager Tony Iro said.

"But with such a short preparation time, we decided to keep things really simple this time - we may reassess that for the Four Nations later in the year.

"Andrew provides a good link with the NZ-based players, who have given him a ringing endorsement."

Ivan Cleary, who assisted Kearney at the World Cup, made himself unavailable due to his commitments with the Panthers, while former Kiwis international David Kidwell, who missed out on the head coaching position last month, was another considered for an assistant's job.

"We felt, under the circumstances, Andrew offered more specific experience in the role as offensive coach and was a better fit for what we needed at this time," Iro said.

During an eight-year NRL career, McFadden (36) chalked up 100 games as halfback for the Canberra Raiders, Parramatta Eels and Melbourne Storm, where he was Kearney's team-mate.

Since retiring in 2004, he has served as assistant coach with the Catalan Dragons in France and Canberra, before joining the Warriors staff last year.

"I'm extremely excited," McFadden said, who claims no confusion over his mixed allegiances. "It's a massive honour to be involved with the Kiwis.

"One thing you learn in rugby league is that your loyalty is to the team you're with at that time.

"When I moved from Canberra to the Warriors, they became my team. Now, it's no different for the Kiwis."

Another key addition is that of NZ-born Manly Sea Eagles trainer Donny Singe, who is highly regarded in the NRL, while lead physio Karl MacDonald will reprise his role with the 2008 World Cup-winning side.

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- Fairfax Media

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