NZRL to appoint Aussie - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NZRL to appoint Aussie

By Brent Read 27/02/2003 06:22:37 AM Comments (0)

The New Zealand Rugby League looks set to follow the lead of Great Britain and appoint an Australian to coach its national team, with Daniel Anderson hinting he would take the job if approached.

Anderson has been mooted as a prospective Kiwi coach after making a huge impact across the Tasman, taking over a rabble at the Warriors and guiding the club to last year's grand final.

The former Parramatta assistant has a host of current Kiwis under his tutelage at the Warriors, including NZ captain Stacey Jones, and is hugely respected by his players.

But Anderson had given no indication as to whether he would consider taking the national job until Wednesday, when he said he was not "divorcing" himself from the role.

"I'm not divorcing myself from it," Anderson told NZPA. "The Kiwi coach is going to have a lot do with junior rugby league and, invariably, will impact on the Warriors because we provide the core of the national team."

The NZRL has called for applications for the post, a clear indication current Kiwi coach Gary Freeman is on the way out after guiding New Zealand through a disappointing tour of England last year.

The Kiwis lost to the Kangaroos in October and then drew the Test series against Great Britain, a side coached by Australian expat David Waite.

Waite was heavily criticised for Great Britain's performance in Sydney in July, but won rave reviews after the national side bounced back to draw the Test series with NZ by winning the third Test.

Applications close for the Kiwi post on March 7 and the NZRL called for expressions of interest, but Anderson indicated he would wait to be approached.

"It's the New Zealand Rugby League that have to go down that path and decide what's best for the team," he said.

"I'm just looking at the Warriors, nothing's transpired in any way shape or form."

Warriors chief executive Mick Watson has said he has no problem with Anderson taking over the national role.

Meanwhile, the Queensland Rugby League will investigate if it can take legal action against a player who was discovered playing in England while serving a two-year ban from the game.

Peter Petrie was one of three Valleys players in the Toowoomba Rugby League competition suspended by the QRL Drugs Judiciary Tribunal last year for steroid use.

But he has been found playing this season for the second division English club Gateshead Thunder under an assumed name.

QRL managing director Ross Livermore will seek legal opinion on what action can be taken against Petrie and Ryan, who would have known the 25-year-old front rower was a suspended player.

And in team news, Newcastle has a host of stars back for Friday night's trial against North Queensland in Cairns including Andrew Johns, but will be without Test forward Ben Kennedy after he aggravated a hip injury in training.

Bulldogs halfback Brent Sherwin has also fallen foul of injury and will miss his side's clash with Manly on Friday night in Coffs Harbour after cutting his hand at training.

The premier Roosters also have their share of injury problems, with captain Brad Fittler sitting out this weekend's trial against Brisbane with a cut head and the remnants of the flu, and Craig Fitzgibbon rested.

Craig Wing is also racing the clock to be fit for the club's opening premiership game and will miss the game against the Broncos.

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