24 Sep 2014

Webster to assist at Warriors

6:06 am on 24 September 2014

Andrew Webster has been named as an assistant coach for Andrew McFadden at the New Zealand Warriors.

The 32-year-old Webster's signing follows confirmation that the experienced Tony Iro would be returning for a second term as an assistant coach at the club.

Webster guided Wests Tigers to this year's NRL under 20 finals.

After beating South Sydney in week one, they were eliminated by Brisbane last Friday night.

Among his previous appointments, Webster was Parramatta's youth coach last year and he had two stints as an assistant coach at Hull Kingston Rovers in the English Super League.

Webster says the offer to join the Vodafone Warriors had come at the ideal time.

He says he's really impressed with the club overall, with the system and the quality of the players they always have coming through.

McFadden says he'd followed Webster's development as a coach with interest.

He says for such a young coach he's packed in lots of experience in Australia, England and the United States.

The former Kiwis rugby league international Tony Iro is returning to the Warriors National Rugby League club as an assistant to head coach Andrew McFadden for the 2015 season.

Tony Iro during the ANZAC Test between Australia and New Zealand at Allianz Stadium, Sydney, Australia on Friday 2 May 2014.

Tony Iro during the ANZAC Test between Australia and New Zealand at Allianz Stadium, Sydney, Australia on Friday 2 May 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 47-year-old was a previous assistant coach at Warriors but left at the end of 2012 to become high performance manager with the NZRL.

Warriors general manager football Dean Bell says Iro is the perfect fit to work with head coach Andrew McFadden.

"Tony has vast experience both as a player at the highest level and in coaching positions with the Warriors."

"He has a great affinity with the club and he's familiar with most of our players, having helped to develop and coach them in the time he was with us previously."

"He has also worked with the country's best players through his involvement with the Kiwis, firstly as an assistant to Stephen Kearney and then in his current role."

"He's a perfect fit for us, giving Cappy the experienced coaching support he was looking for."

Iro is set to return to Mount Smart Stadium after the Four Nations tournament being staged in New Zealand and Australia in October and November.

"It's a great opportunity to come back to the club to work with Cappy and support him in any way I can to take the Vodafone Warriors to the next level," he says.

"I've enjoyed my two years with the NZRL working with the Kiwis and in the high performance area but I always wanted to coach in the NRL again."

"I've got strong ties with the Warriors after my time with the club and couldn't be more excited about returning. The club has so much to offer."

Earlier this year McFadden was initially appointed Kiwi assistant coach after discussions with Iro.

He then had to withdraw after replacing Matthew Elliott as Warriors head coach.

"Tony is an ideal choice, just the sort of person I need," says McFadden.

"He has the depth of coaching experience I was after and he also has so much knowledge about the club and about the players here, most of whom he has worked with."

A long-time professional who played 25 Tests for the Kiwis and made almost 250 appearances in the NRL and England, Iro spent eight seasons with the Vodafone Warriors from 2005-2012.

He was the club's foundation NYC coach in 2008-2009 before becoming the NRL team's assistant coach from 2010-2012, helping the Vodafone Warriors to two finals series in three seasons including the grand final in 2011.

He was also Kiwi coach Stephen Kearney's assistant in 2009-2010, teaming up to guide the Kiwis to their 2010 Four Nations grand final win over the Kangaroos.

Meanwhile the Junior Warriors are one win away from the Under 20's grand final after beating Newcastle 23-16 in last night's semi-final.

The Warriors will face the Eels in next weekend's preliminary final.