Tony Iro. Photo by Getty
Long-serving Warriors assistant coach Tony Iro turned
down an improved offer to remain at the club, instead opting to
take his chances on the open market rather than stay to join
the Matt Elliott-led revolution.
Iro is still in negotiations with the Roosters, however the
Sydney club is no longer confident of luring the Kiwis
assistant across the ditch after failing to reach terms.
Iro last night told the Herald he would make a
decision on whether to relocate to Australia within the next
He is also understood to be eyeing an opportunity at the New
Zealand Rugby League. Chief executive Jim Doyle is to retire
at the end of the year. Doyle protege Tony Kemp has applied
for the top job. If he gets it, that would free up Kemp's
general manager high performance role - a job for which Iro's
background as a talent groomer for the Warriors would make
him a natural fit.
Iro made his decision not to remain at the club if he missed
out on the head coaching job during the interview process,
figuring a change would be best for his own development and
some of the players he had coached for many years.
"I recognised I might have to get out and have a look around,
widen my experience a bit," he said.
"I had a lot of those young boys in the team - at least a
dozen of them - for six years. It was always going to be
tough to leave but in the long run I think it will be best
for me and probably best for them to hear another voice."
The Herald understands the Warriors made a big play to
keep Iro, who would have been a key figure in helping Elliott
get the players on board as he begins his tenure.
Having brought many of the current NRL squad through the
ranks during his time as the club's NYC coach, Iro was an
immensely popular figure at the club.
And having served all through Ivan Cleary's largely
successful six-year tenure, Iro's wealth of knowledge and
familiarity with the club's intricacies were viewed as a
valuable resource for Elliott. The club offered to improve
Iro's terms in a bid to convince him to stay, however after
"three really good conversations" with Elliott he decided to
stick by his original decision.
There was no bitterness on either side, he said.
"The club was really good about giving me the time to make my
decision and I really appreciated that," he said.
- by Steve Deane of the NZ Herald