Cleary could be the answer if Warriors make slow start

NO COACH will go into next season's NRL premiership season under more pressure than Warriors mentor Andrew McFadden, given the quality of his 2016 playing roster.

McFadden has been handed a side many believe should make the 2016 finals.
Former Roosters excitement machine Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will replace Englishman Sam Tomkins, while Issac Luke will add some steel to the forwards.

With Tuivasa-Sheck, highly exciting 20-year-old Tuimoala Lolohea likely to play five-eighth outside the brilliant Shaun Johnson and Luke doing his thing out of dummy half, McFadden has a spine as good as any in the competition.

However, his failure to nurse the Warriors into the top eight this year, after being in fourth position eight weeks out from the finals when Johnson went down with a serious leg injury, left question marks over his coaching claims.

His 19 wins from 53 games (44%) leaves him in the danger zone, especially now former Warriors coach Ivan Cleary, who still has admirers across the Tasman, is a free agent.

A slow start to 2016 could see Cleary offered his old job back given he knows the club's structure and culture and took them from eighth place to within one win of playing in the grand final in 2008.

Cleary was head hunted by Penrith coach Phil Gould in 2012 to rebuild the Panthers.
Unfortunately his efforts were seriously hampered by some bad injuries to several key players, including halves Jamie

Soward and Peter Wallace, centre Jamal Idris and talented young fullback Matt Moylan when the club was in the top eight picture.

Meanwhile, Cleary's replacement at the Panthers, Anthony Griffin, who was also hand-picked for the job by Gould, said he never thought his NRL coaching career was over when Wayne Bennett elbowed him out the door at the Broncos last season.

Gould gave Griffin a glowing endorsement saying: "Understand that we did not advertise this position.

"We did not accept applications and we interviewed no other candidate.

"We are delighted he has accepted our invitation to be the new head coach at our club," said Gould who has been a fan of Griffin for some time.



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