In a massive boost to the New Zealand Warriors, the grand old man of Kiwi rugby league, Sir Graham Lowe, has put up his hand to help the club.
Lowe, a legendary figure in Kiwi sport, turns 74 in a few months and has been plagued by health issues that include heart attacks and strokes.
But Lowe told Wide World of Sports today that he is still ready, willing and able to help the club in crisis after watching them carve out a brave win over the Broncos on the weekend.
The former Wigan and Manly boss is close mates with the club’s owner, Mark Robinson, and is just a phone call away, he says.
“The fire to coach or be involved with the players never goes out – I still have a passion for the game,” Lowe said.
“It is probably the biggest coaching job in rugby league, the Warriors, because you are coaching a whole country that is dominated by rugby union.
“The Warriors could be a super club but have never quite got it right.
“I’ve spoken to Mark about this and if he asked me to coach or be a consultant of sorts, I’d seriously consider it.”
Lowe labelled recruitment and retention as the club’s biggest problems.
NRL Highlights: Warriors v Broncos – Round 8
“The club gave too much power to a manager (Isaac Moses) who had the former coach (Stephen Kearney) and several of the leading players,” he said.
“He then brought his other players into the club at the expense of good, young Kiwi talent.
“For years, the club has been losing the best local players to the Aussie clubs. The recruitment has been a joke.
“The club needs to get its act together and has to make the hard calls.
“To me, sacking the coach was the first hard call in years and a good sign for the future.”