The New Zealand Warriors have confirmed they have sacked coach Nathan Brown ahead of a scheduled board meeting.
The club revealed that Brown was not willing to relocate to New Zealand permanently due to personal reasons.
The team were due to return to Auckland later this month to play their first game in New Zealand in over two years as the team had relocated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Brown had signed on to coach the Warriors in 2021 with a three-year deal until the end of 2023, however, the club confirmed in a statement that he would be leaving with immediate effect.
Warriors CEO Cameron George said: “Nathan told us he had made a personal decision that for family reasons he wouldn’t be able to relocate to New Zealand as originally planned for the long term.
“We fully appreciate his position and the call he has made.
“Given those circumstances, we agreed we needed to make an immediate change.
“It’s tough for everyone involved but, in the best interests of the club, we felt we had to go in a different direction now.
“Nathan has worked so hard for our club and we are extremely disappointed it has come to this. We’re truly grateful for what he has done and wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”
Current assistant coach Stacey Jones will step into the role of interim coach until the end of the season.
Given we are yet to hit the half-time point of the season Jones will have plenty of time to impress and potentially earn the position permanently.
The Kiwi side has had a tumultuous two years under Brown, with his time as coach marred by poor results and instability with the team relocating to the Central Coast and then Redcliffe.
They will play two more games in Redcliffe before returning home to face the Wests Tigers.
The Warriors finished 12th last season, well outside of the top eight, and this season have only managed to win four of their 12 games, finding themselves again in 12th place.
Brown’s departure comes off the back of an extremely poor run of games, losing five on the trot, with losses to the Sharks, Rabbitohs, Dragons, Knights, and Manly.
Their 44-12 loss to the Sea Eagles on Saturday (June 4) seems to be the straw that broke the camel's back, signifying a hefty loss for the New Zealand side.
Brown has coached the Dragons and Knights previously.