Former Kiwi Tony Iro says his new elite coaching role with the New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) was just a natural fit after leaving the Warriors.
Speaking to 3 News this afternoon, Iro said he wants to use his new role to make sure the players are as prepared as possible to defend the rugby league World Cup later this year.
“We want to tick as many boxes as we can before we head up to England in October. We haven’t had a good record up there in the last five years, I really want to get down and make some more individual contact with the players,” he says.
“During our previous seasons, with both Steve [Kearney, Kiwis coach] and I coaching in the NRL, we haven’t had time to do that.
“We’re looking at running some more camps throughout the season, strengthening our leadership groups so those boys, when they come in, are best prepared to lead their team out onto the park.”
Iro has been contracted as the NZRL’s full-time high performance manager, replacing Ruben Wiki, who has taken over as conditioning coach with Iro’s former club.
Iro, 45, has recently held the dual roles of selector and assistant coach and will continue in both posts - but says he is excited about the new responsibility.
“There’s a lot of work to do, it’s not strictly all about the World Cup but I think that maintaining that momentum that NZ Rugby League has built up […] is important,” he says. “The best way to do that is to be victorious on the field.”
Watch the video for the full interview with Tony Iro.