Henry in mix for Warriors job

Written By Unknown on Senin, 07 April 2014 | 23.40

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TITANS assistant Neil Henry and former Dragons mentor Nathan Brown are on the Warriors' coaching radar after the club yesterday parted ways with Matthew Elliott.

As revealed by The Courier-Mail, Elliott's 18-month tenure at the Warriors is officially over, with the club appointing former Raiders halfback Andrew McFadden for the rest of the 2014 season.

But McFadden's installation in a caretaker role suggests the Auckland-based outfit is buying time to identify the coach who can deliver the Warriors' maiden premiership.

That opens the door for Henry and Brown, the latter of whom was sounded out three weeks ago as Warriors powerbrokers began plotting Elliott's demise.



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St Helens coach Brown is off-contract at the end of 2015 but has get-out clauses in his contract and is the front-runner for Elliott's position.

However, he will not be the only coach interviewed. It is understood Henry is another on the Warriors' hit list, with the club first expressing interest in the former Queensland Origin assistant two years ago following Brian McClennan's sacking.

At the time, Henry was entrenched at the Cowboys and could not foresee the political ructions that saw him axed last August, prompting his shift to the Titans.

The 53-year-old remains unsigned for next season, but Titans boss Graham Annesley hopes Henry is not lost to the club.

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"We would love him to stay here, but ultimately the decision will be Neil's," Annesley said.

"We haven't commenced any formal discussions for next year and while Neil is happy at the moment, I understand he is an experienced first-grade coach.

"He has been a wonderful assistant already to John (Cartwright) but he is a head coach of high standing.

"From my discussions with him, he is enjoying being in an assistant role.

"We haven't discussed anything beyond this year at this stage. We have got no plans whatsoever to bid him farewell, but we have to be realistic as well."

Henry declined to comment last night but said in January: "I want to keep my options open for that head-coaching position if there's one available, but I've settled in quickly here."

While Warriors' management yesterday tried to peddle the line that Elliott resigned, the coach was pushed out of his Auckland office.

Who should be the Warriors' next coach?

Senior Warriors players will have a major role in deciding the appointment as they were key architects in Elliott's shock demise.

It is understood the playing group was divided on Elliott, with some star players major supporters of the veteran coach.

However, there were a handful of dominant personalties who did not believe in Elliott.

Warriors football manager Dean Bell admitted the players had to take responsibility for last week's dismal 37-6 loss to Cronulla.

"For Matt to take the blame for that performance would be ridiculous," he said. "The team has got to take responsibility for that kind of performance."

Caretaker McFadden is held in high regard by the playing group but the wealth of Warriors owners Owen Glenn and Eric Watson allows them to be aggressive in the market.

The club is also in danger of losing captain Simon Mannering, who is being chased by overseas rugby clubs and admits crossing codes is appealing.

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