Interim Warriors coach Todd Payten has discussed the background details around the shock revelation he made on live television, turning down a fulltime role with the club.
On Monday evening, Payten agreed to appear on NRL 360 – Fox Sport’s nightly rugby league programme – and soon after filmed a simple pre-recorded story.
The pre-record was focused on Payten’s attempts to take the playing squad in a new direction during their roller-coaster season, but during it he spoke about his interest in taking the fulltime job next season.
As it was later revealed live on the show, Payten revealed he had actually already turned down an offer from the club for the fulltime job which explains why the programme’s hosts were so shocked by the news.
Payten told Newstalk ZB his comments in the pre-record were eating away at him which is why he wanted to clear the air.
"I did do a pre-record with them and they were asking about my interview and about things that I would change as a coach and I knew during that interview that I'd already turned the job down,” Payten said.
"I got off the phone and for 25 minutes it didn't really sit well with me at all that I was dishonest. I ask my players to be honest and to be accountable ... how can they do it and not me?
"So I rang them immediately and asked if I could go to air live and I just addressed it and I'm glad I did because it's been put to bed now."
Payten said he’s “been dreaming of this opportunity for nine years or more” so turning it down “wasn't taken lightly”.
Payten revealed during the live interview his father-in-law had recently gotten cancer which was his main reason for turning the deal down but said a more suitable job at the North Queensland Cowboys could work for him.
If that doesn’t pan out though, he’s still contracted to the Warriors for next season as an assistant coach.
"There's an opportunity in Australia, I'll have a crack at that,” he said.
“If that doesn't work out, which is a very real chance of happening, I'll still be here as an assistant and we'll have to deal with whatever happens with Jules' father and coming back and forth and just do the best we can."