Brown and Griffin sign on as Warriors overhaul football department

Former Newcastle head coach Nathan Brown and recently retired hooker Slade Griffin have joined the New Zealand Warriors football department as part of an overhaul.

Brown, who departed Newcastle last in 2019 following a form slump that dropped the team from finals contention after a mid-year winning run, will join the club as a specialist coach for the pre-season.

The club announced he would then be used "from time to time" once the season proper gets underway.

Greymouth product Griffin played one Test for the Kiwis and won a premiership with Melbourne before a fourth knee reconstruction at Newcastle sadly brought his playing career to a premature end.

He will head up the Future Warriors Programme after migrating into a trainer role during his injury rehab at the Knights.

Former Wallabies rugby union strength and conditioning coach Craig Twentyman has also signed on to replace outgoing head of athletic performance Alex Corvo.

NRLW assistant coach Justin Morgan moves across to coach the Canterbury Cup NSW side following the departure of Nathan Cayless.

Former Knights hooker Slade Griffin.
Former Knights hooker Slade Griffin. ©Shane Myers/NRL Photos

General manager of football Brian Smith is also departing, having set up the Future Warriors program with that role now more administrative than the football-focused role it was when Smith started, according to the club.

Greg Boulous – who moves from under-20s coach to under-18s coach – will also head up development while Peter O'Sullivan continues as recruitment manager.

"These appointments have been made after extensive consideration, each of them designed to improve our football department in critical areas," said CEO Cameron George.

"It's fantastic that recent staff recruitment has allowed growth from within and we can spread the work requirements across existing staff and give them a chance to grow in the club."