The vastly-experienced Tony Iro has today been confirmed to return to the Vodafone Warriors as one of two new assistant coaches for the 2015 NRL season.
The 47-year-old left the Vodafone Warriors at the end of the 2012 NRL season to become general manager high performance with the New Zealand Rugby League.
Vodafone Warriors general manager football Dean Bell said Iro was 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 Vodafone Warriors,” he said.
“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 said.
“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 Vodafone 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 Vodafone Warriors head coach.
“Tony is an ideal choice, just the sort of person I need,” said 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.
Date of Birth: May 30, 1967
NZRL general manager high performance 2012-
Vodafone Warriors acting head coach 2012
Vodafone Warriors assistant coach 2010-2012
Kiwi assistant coach 2009-2010
Vodafone Junior Warriors NYC coach 2008-2009
Auckland Lions NSW Premier League assistant coach 2007
Vodafone Warriors development coach 2006-07
Kiwi assistant coach 2006-07
New Zealand A coach 2005-06
Vodafone Warriors IT and video analyst 2005
Playing Record (Tests):
25 Tests for NZ (1988-98)
16 points (4 tries)
Playing Record (Club):
NRL Appearances: 184 | 70 for Manly (1990-93), 60 for Sydney Roosters (1994-96), 14 for Hunter Mariners (1997), 20 for Adelaide (1998), 20 for South Sydney (1999)
NRL Points: 116 (29 tries) | 52 (13 tries) for Manly, 44 (11 tries) for Sydney Roosters, 12 (3 tries) for Hunter Mariners, 4 (1 try) for Adelaide, 4 (1 try) for South Sydney
Appearances: 61 | 11 for Leigh (1990-1991), 50 for Wigan (1988-89)
Points: 108 | 92 (23 tries) for Wigan, 16 (4 tries) for Leigh