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'The club was shocked' - Todd Payten rejects offer to become permanent Warriors coach

Interim Warriors coach Todd Payten has dropped a bombshell, revealing he’s rejected an offer to coach the side fulltime.

Speaking to NRL 360, Payten admitted he was offered the role last week after a successful interview process.

“I had been offered the job last Monday, so a week ago and I informed the club that I’m going to turn it down.

“It just wasn’t the right opportunity for myself and my family at this time being.”

The 41-year-old said he has family matters to attend to in Australia and couldn’t commit to the job in Auckland.

“It’s not an easy decision, something I agonised over for a few days.”

“But in the end, it was the first time I put my family first in a decision, it just wasn’t the right timing.

“Not many people know this, but my wife’s father just started chemotherapy, so that was at the forefront of my mind.

“Obviously, there’s the Covid thing. For her to travel back and forth is very difficult, so that was a big part of it.

"I’m well aware, it was tough for everyone, the club was shocked and disappointed, but moving forward, my focus is on getting the side prepared as well as we can from week to week.”

Payten also admitted other factors were at play.

When pushed on the subject, the interim Warriors coach revealed he’s keen on moving to North Queensland and taking over the vacant Cowboys.

Despite turning down the head coaching role, Payten could stay on at Mount Smart next season.

The Australian hasn’t ruled out remaining as an assistant to whoever eventually takes up the top job.

“I’m still contracted, I’ve still got another 12 months there as an assistant,” he said.

“So a new coach can come in. He’s going to know he’s got an NRL ready coach as an assistant and he’ll have my full support.”