x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Kearney spurns Warriors

New Zealand's World Cup-winning coach Stephen Kearney has turned down the chance to take over as coach of Super League side Wigan Warriors, according to a report in Auckland.

Stephen Kearney, the architect of New Zealand's stunning World Cup triumph, has turned down the chance to take over as coach of Super League side Wigan Warriors, according to a report in Auckland. The Sunday Times in New Zealand claimed that Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan had targeted Kearney, the assistant at Melbourne Storm, as a potential successor to Brian Noble, whose contract is up at the JJB Stadium at the end of the year.

Kearney told New Zealand Rugby League officials of the "expression of interest" but his agent Chris Orr revealed he had decided not to enter into contract negotiations with Wigan for fear it would cost him his role with the New Zealand national side. "Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan came out to Australia. He was looking at a few candidates and one of them was Stephen," said Orr. "We had a discussion but nothing further than that really because Stephen decided that, due to his commitments as New Zealand coach and the success he's had with the team, the time wasn't right to leave that job."

In the NRL, Manly withstood a stirring comeback from Canberra to move into the top eight with a 20-14 home win over the Raiders at Brookvale Oval yesterday. The premiers were coasting at 20-0 midway through the second half, but three tries in seven minutes slashed their lead to six with 11 minutes remaining. It was Manly's fifth win in their last six games and pushed them into the top eight for the first time this year.

Melbourne claimed a two-point win over the West Tigers yesterday. The fourth-placed Storm held off the Tigers who have now lost in eight matches in a row. * With agencies