Brisbane will break the bank in order to build a high-powered coaching squadron for their premiership fightback next season.
Brisbane will break the bank in order to build a high-powered coaching squadron for their premiership fightback next season.

Revealed: Heavyweights to form elite Broncos coach squadron

Brisbane have investigated the coaching model employed by the All Blacks as the Broncos look to emulate the structure of world rugby's most famous brand to provide support for Anthony Seibold's successor.

NewsCorp Australia can reveal the likes of Steve Kearney, John Cartwright and Neil Henry have been identified as assistants under plans for the Broncos to install a robust coaching squadron for their premiership fightback next season.

Broncos bosses believe one of the shortcomings of their risky five-year appointment of Seibold was their failure to deliver senior assistants given his status as a rookie NRL coach when he replaced Wayne Bennett at Red Hill.

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Has Brisbane’s new selection method bumped Kevvie to the top of the queue? Picture: AAP/Darren England
Has Brisbane’s new selection method bumped Kevvie to the top of the queue? Picture: AAP/Darren England

This time, the Broncos will beef-up their coaching artillery.

Regardless of whether Paul Green or Kevin Walters clinches the top job, the Broncos want to ensure they ease the strain on their next mentor by financing a coaching unit to break Brisbane's 14-year premiership drought.

Brisbane hierarchy have researched a number of coaching models both domestically and abroad, looking into the All Blacks set-up, as well as AFL side Sydney Swans' process in hiring John Longmire.

The Broncos will conduct formal interviews over the next fortnight and they will expect Walters, Green and other candidates to be armed with a list of potential options as coaching assistants.

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It is the methodology used by All Blacks coach Ian Foster, who trumped hot favourite Scott Robertson last year after impressing New Zealand Rugby chiefs with his holistic blueprint involving experienced assistants.

Crusaders mentor Robertson was tipped to snare the All Blacks post after winning a hat-trick of Super Rugby titles, but the NZR were swayed by Foster's multifaceted pitch involving more than just the head coach.

In the NRL, Green has shown the power of a coaching arsenal. In his premiership-winning year at the Cowboys in 2015, Green had a formidable trio of assistants in Cartwright, Jason Demetriou and David Furner.

 

Former Cowboys coach Paul Green. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Former Cowboys coach Paul Green. Picture: Alix Sweeney

 

In Brisbane's most recent grand final campaign in the same season, then head coach Bennett had trusted deputies in Walters, who ran their attack, and Kearney, who formulated the Broncos' defensive structures.

The Broncos were impressed with Kearney's last stint at Red Hill and believe he could be a handy support act for Seibold's successor.

Cartwright is off-contract at Manly, while former Titans coach Henry did a superb job as Mal Meninga's tactical assistant during Queensland's record reign at Origin level.

Brisbane chairman Karl Morris revealed last week the Broncos would look to provide more coaching resources as the club looks to recover from Seibold's two-year tenure at Red Hill.

"This time around, there will be a lot more thought to the football-operations team. We are taking a much wider view going forward," he said.

 

Stephen Kearney. Picture: Phil Walter/Getty
Stephen Kearney. Picture: Phil Walter/Getty

 

Neil Henry. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt
Neil Henry. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt

 

Super coach Bennett is open to a return as a possible coaching director supporting Walters.

While the prospect of Brisbane bosses reaching out to Bennett seems remote, Broncos skipper Alex Glenn said the playing group had great respect for the 70-year-old.

"I don't know what's going on with Wayne," he said.

"There's no bad blood (with the players). Him departing the club had nothing to do with us players.

"A lot of us still don't know what the full story was behind him getting passed on to the Rabbitohs so quickly. It was out of my control."

Originally published as Revealed: Heavyweights to form elite Broncos coaching squadron


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