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Tony Kemp Joins Warriors Coaching Staff for 2001

Four More Players Confirmed; Open Trial Yields Further Prospects

Auckland, New Zealand, 14 November 2000 – Warriors coach Daniel Anderson has appointed former Kiwi international, Tony Kemp to the club’s 2001 coaching staff. Kemp, who played 25 tests for New Zealand from 1989 to 1995, will support Anderson with junior player development and opposition analysis.

Kemp has five years coaching experience and has returned to take up the Warrior’s job from UK club, Wakefield, where he was head coach for the Super League side. He began his coaching career at Leeds, where he coached the second grade side to a premiership before moving to Wakefield as player-coach, becoming head coach last season.

‘It’s great for Warriors to get a fresh start with fresh approach,” says Kemp. “I saw that working in last weekend’s open trial. I’m looking forward to a successful future with the club.”

A foundation member of the Newcastle side, he brings with him an appreciation for what the demands of the NRL season will mean for local players.

Anderson anticipates Kemp’s role will be vital in the build up to the 2001 season. “He knows the deal on the field and he has what it takes to win the admiration of the team. We are very pleased to have him on board”.

Kemp’s commitment to the Warriors closely follows confirmation of four more additions to the club’s roster. Anderson says that with the player list now at sixteen he is confident he has the makings of a great team for 2001.

Players who have reached agreement with the club include exciting hooker/loose forward and 1999 Warrior player of year, Jason Death, and former Sydney City Roosters hooker Nathan Wood. Also named were Richard Villisanti of Wests Tigers, and fullback Motu Tony, one of the outstanding players of the New Zealand Residents team when it toured Australia recently.

Numbers are set to be boosted further with the news two further players will be offered contracts based on their performance at the club’s open trial last Saturday.

Of the 290 players (including four senior players from Australia) who attended the trial, 25 will be invited to participate in an elite training squad aimed at conditioning players for ongoing evaluation. Coaches will be posted in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to facilitate a nation-wide elite development programme.

Anderson says the Warriors are committed to identifying local talent at the club level with a view to developing a playing roster that would build depth throughout the Warrior’s ranks.

“The open day was all about identifying elite players and building positive relationships with the clubs. As a talent capturing exercise it was superb, in fact it was so successful we are considering holding a similar open trial in the South Island.”

Mick Watson, General Manager, says the day also provided an opportunity for the grass roots of rugby league to meet key Warriors players and staff. “We have been overwhelmed with the support we’ve received from clubs up and down the country, in particular Mt Albert’s generous loan of club facilities for the open day. We are convinced that our strategy of developing the Warriors by identifying and channelling local talent will allow us to create a formidable team unit.”

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