(Main photo: David Kidwell. Credit: photosport.nz).
Kiwis head coach David Kidwell has made his first appointments naming Justin Morgan and Willie Poching (Kiwi #724) as the assistant coaches for the Test against Australia in Perth on October 15 and the Four Nations tour to the UK.
Morgan’s most recent position was the assistant coach of the NZ Warriors. Prior to that he held assistant roles at the Melbourne Storm 2014-2015 and the Canberra Raiders 2012-2013.
“Justin brings great experience holding a head coaching position in Super League and being involved with the Storm and Warriors,” said Kidwell.
The 133 NRL game veteran retired from playing at 26 to take up coaching. Starting his career in France, he was the head coach of Hull Kingston Rovers from 2007-2011.
Former New Zealand and Samoan international, Poching has spent the last 17 years involved in top-level rugby league in the UK, the last six as an assistant coach with the Warrington Wolves, Leeds Rhinos and Hull Kingston Rovers.
“Willie has so much experience as an assistant coach in the Super League and as a former Kiwi and captain of Samoa he knows what international footy is all about,” he said.
“Both of these guys are great people who will compliment my coaching style.”
Morgan will concentrate on the backs while Poching will work with the forwards.
“We are very pleased that David has been able to secure the services of two experienced coaches for our upcoming campaign” says NZRL CEO Alex Hayton.
“During the off season we will, as usual, review the year with the coaching staff and management team and once complete, confirm all our appointments to take us through to the World Cup.”
The full Kiwis squad will be named after the NRL Grand Final.
Head Coach: David Kidwell
Backs Coach: Justin Morgan
Forwards Coach: Willie Poching