Former Wakefield Wildcats star Morrison on New Zealand shortlist

Glenn Morrison
Glenn Morrison

Former Wakefield Trinity Wildcats player and coach Glenn Morrison is one of the last four candidates for the top job in New Zealand rugby league.

Morrison, now in charge at Dewsbury Rams, is among the final four candidates for the head coach’s job with the Rugby League World Cup finalists.

NZ Rugby League received 14 enquiries for the role that became vacant when Stephen Kearney’s contract ended after the World Cup in December and the field has now been whittled down to a shortlist of four after applications closed on Friday.

Morrison and the other candidates will now be interviewed by the appointment panel over the next week, with a recommendation due with the NZRL board by mid February.

Kearney has re-applied for his job, and faces competition from former national team-mates Richie Blackmore and David Kidwell, with Australian Morrison regarded as an outsider for the prestigious job.

The appointment process is running alongside a review of last year’s World Cup campaign, where the Kiwis stumbled one hurdle short of defending their title, falling to arch rivals Australia in the final.

“We need to be clear that this process is not an indictment on Stephen Kearney’s performance as coach over the past six years,” said NZRL chief executive Phil Holden. “He has helped raise this programme to a higher level than it was when he arrived.

“But we were obliged to advertise this role once his contract expired and saw it as an opportunity to see who else was in the marketplace.

“It’s also an opportunity to scope out a succession plan - who can we begin developing as future Kiwis coaches?”

The six-man selection panel consists of Holden, three NZRL board members - chairman Scott Carter, former Kiwis player Iva Ropati and former Kiwis manager Ray Haffenden - NZRL high performance manager Tony Iro, and High Performance Sport NZ coaching consultant and world champion Black Sox softball coach Eddie Kohlhase.