21 Feb 2014

Kearney re-appointed despite sleeping pill issue

5:38 pm on 21 February 2014

The Kiwis rugby league coach, Stephen Kearney, has been re-appointed, despite an admission his side's performance was impacted by the misuse of sleeping pills in their failed World Cup campaign

A number of players in the Kiwis squad were warned by team management during the World Cup for mixing prescription sleeping pills with energy drinks, a practice designed to give a high similar to recreational drugs.

Kearney's refusing to name the palyers involved but says it affected their ability to prepare for the final where they were trounced by Australia 34-2.

He says he first became aware of the issue after the Kiwis' quarter-final win over Scotland.

The New Zealand Rugby League is working with the NRL in a taskforce set up to deal with the sleeping pill issue.