Rugby League - Morrison to push Kiwi case

Dewsbury coach Glenn Morrison will attend the launch of the new Championship season in Manchester on Monday and then press his claims to become head coach of New Zealand.

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Rugby League - Morrison to push Kiwi case
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Dewsbury coach Glenn Morrison, pictured playing for Wakefield, will interview for the New Zealand vacancy

The 37-year-old Australian is the shock inclusion on the four-strong shortlist and will be interviewed via Skype by the six-man selection panel, including former Wigan favourite Tony Iro, the New Zealand high performance manager, who will make a recommendation to the New Zealand Rugby League by the middle of the month.

Morrison accepts he is the outsider to succeed Stephen Kearney, who led the Kiwis to their World Cup triumph in 2008, and is currently focusing on preparing Dewsbury for their opening match against Featherstone on Sunday week - but he will be out to make a good impression on the selectors.

"It came out of the blue," Morrison told Press Association Sport.

"I got a call from Tony Iro on Sunday asking me if I was interested because they wanted to shortlist me.

"I spoke with Tony when he was over for the World Cup, just about general things, but he must have liked what he heard.

"It's a great honour to get this far. To know that I'm in the running for such a prestigious role is great. It's a long way from getting the job and there are a lot of experienced coaches out there but I'll put my best foot forward and see where it takes me."

Kearney, whose contract ended after the Kiwis lost 34-2 to Australia in the World Cup final at Old Trafford on November 30, is also on the shortlist along with former New Zealand internationals Richie Blackmore and David Kidwell.

Morrison enjoyed a distinguished playing career with Balmain, North Sydney, North Queensland and Parramatta before moving to Super League in 2007. He spent three seasons with Bradford before finishing his career at Wakefield two years ago.

He was involved on the coaching staff for the Exiles and is in his second season in charge of the Rams.

"I've coached all my playing career," he said. "It's a path I've always wanted to go down.

"I did the Under-18s and 20s at Wakefield and then took over as assistant coach before getting the Dewsbury job and ties with the Exiles obviously helped."

Dewsbury chairman Mark Sawyer said: "Obviously we don't want to lose him but at the same time we've got to be realistic. All coaches aspire to coach at the best possible level and we're not here to hold him back.

"I'm very pleased that he's been noticed for the fair job he's done with just in just over a season and that he's got a chance to talk to their governing body."

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