A number of changes feature in the Vodafone Warriors’ restructured 2016 NRL football department confirmed today.
Head coach Andrew McFadden has announced Vodafone Warrior #88 Justin Morgan is coming onboard as a new assistant coach after finishing his commitments this season as defensive coach at the Melbourne Storm.
McFadden added Tony Iro had been appointed to fill the recently-advertised recruitment and development manager’s role while Brendan Inkster is joining the club from Manly as the NRL strength, power and rehab manager.
“We also have some changes in other areas of the football department as a result of our end of season reviews,” said McFadden.
“It’s exciting to sign a coach of Justin’s calibre and experience, especially with the work he has done with the Storm as defensive coach. He has coached extensively in the Super League and the NRL and also had time at our club as a player.
“The recruitment position is vital for us. In Tony we have the ideal person to fill it with his knowledge as an NYC and NRL coach and also his experience in high performance with the New Zealand Rugby League and the Kiwis.
“Brendan will benefit our NRL players hugely. He has been part of a great programme working with Donny Singe at Manly, a club which, like Melbourne, has an impressive record over a long period of time.”
Morgan made 28 appearances for the Vodafone Warriors in 2001-2002 after earlier playing for Parramatta and Canberra; McFadden were team-mates at the Raiders in 2000 and then again as NRL assistant coaches in 2012 before McFadden joined the Vodafone Warriors).
Morgan retired at 26 to turn to coaching, initially in France before he had seven seasons with Hull Kingston Rovers when he guided the Robins back into the Super League. He returned to Australia as an assistant coach at Canberra in 2012-2013 and has been with the Storm the last two seasons.
“This is a great opportunity to come back to Auckland to work with Cappy, the rest of the staff and the players,” said Morgan.
“I have great memories of my time with the club in 2001 and 2002 and really look forward to this opportunity to help take the Vodafone Warriors to the heights everyone expects of the club.”
Iro said he relished the opportunity to work in the recruitment area.
“I’ve gained a lot of experience in a number of roles since first joining the Vodafone Warriors in 2005 and then working with the NZRL,” he said.
“Recruitment is such a critical area and I’m excited about working closely with Cappy and (managing director) Jim (Doyle) to ensure we continue to improve our performance.”
McFadden last week confirmed the wider NRL squad for 2016 was almost complete. So far five new players have been signed – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Issac Luke, Ligi Sao, Blake Ayshford and Henare Wells. There are a few spots still to be filled.
Apart from players involved with the Kiwis in England, the rest of the squad is scheduled to start its 2016 offseason training programme on November 2.
VODAFONE WARRIORS | 2016 FOOTBALL DEPARTMENT
Head coach | Andrew McFadden
Assistant coach | Justin Morgan
Assistant coach | Andrew Webster
Football operations manager | Dan Floyd
Football operations co-ordinator | Carmen Taplin
Team manager | Laurie Hale
Head of athletic performance | Balin Cupples
Strength, power and rehab coach | Brendan Inkster
Head trainer | Dayne Norton
Assistant strength and conditioning coach | Ruben Wiki
Performance analyst | Bridie Reeves
Video analyst | Adam Sadler
Nutritionist | Lee-Ann Wann
Head of medical | John Mayhew
Recruitment and development manager | Tony Iro