In one of the most significant announcements in the history of the Warriors, the club has confirmed Nathan Brown as their new coach with rugby league icon Phil Gould also on board in a club-wide consultant role.
Brown, a former Knights coach, will replace Stephen Kearney as the fulltime head coach on a three-year deal starting in 2021.
Gould, one of rugby league’s most experienced coaches and administrators, has been locked in on a two-year deal and has already been advising the Warriors on a number of matters including the appointment of Brown.
“There’s no question this is an exciting challenge,” said Gould.
“The owners Mark (Robinson) and Rob (Croot) and Cameron have a real passion for rugby league and they’re highly motivated to build the Vodafone Warriors into a powerful club over the coming years."
Brown has 438 games of experience as a coach across the NRL and the UK Super League. He re-entered the race to replace Kearney after interim coach Todd Payten sensationally turned the role down. The 47-year-old will officially take over in 2021, leaving Payten to see out his time as caretaker.
Known around the NRL as a ‘Mr Fix-it’ for his consultancy roles at various clubs, Gould is a two-time premiership-winning coach who also New South Wales’ most successful Origin coach having taken charge of the state in 24 interstate games. He most recently was charged with rebuilding the Penrith Panthers as football manager.
Gould is also a leading commentator with Channel Nine and those commitments will see him based predominantly in Australia throughout his time with the Warriors.
His task at Mt Smart will be to create a winning culture while also shaping player development and pathways. This includes building a relationship with the game’s national governing body, New Zealand Rugby League.
Brown led the Knights for three seasons, claiming the dreaded wooden spoon in the first two – winning just 26 percent of a total of 94 games. Leaving the club last year, it can be argued he laid the foundations that the club is now benefiting from, sitting eighth on the table after 12 games in 2020.
He has been charged with delivering instant success at the Warriors, who have showed patches of improvement in an unprecedented season that has seen them based in Australia.