NZ Rugby League would welcome Laurie Daley's head coach application, says Chairman Reon Edwards

Daley represented Australia and NSW in a storied career.
Daley represented Australia and NSW in a storied career. Photo credit: AAP

Chairman Reon Edwards has indicated a definite interest in the application of Australian rugby league legend Laurie Daley for the vacant role of Kiwis head coach.

Reports emerged from across the Tasman on Tuesday that the former NSW State of Origin coach had become the "favourite" to step into the position left free by the expiration of David Kidwell's contract following October's World Cup.

Edwards told Newshub that the board would welcome the interest of someone of Daley's pedigree.

"I think it’s great to see some NRL coaches and obviously Laurie's an experienced coach at State of Origin," said Edwards.

"I'm sure he'd come highly regarded and have huge respect across the ditch and over here in New Zealand."

Daley has a part-time role as halves coach with the Newcastle Knights but travels to New Zealand regularly with his wife, who's originally from this side of the ditch.

An independent panel will be assembled in the next fortnight to make the appointment as an outcome of the review conducted of the Kiwis' World Cup capitulation, the findings of which were presented to the board on Friday.

"I think there will be a number of potential candidates putting their hand up for that role I'd hope, but if Laurie's keen we'd be keen to have him in the mix as well."

One of those candidates will likely be David Kidwell, the man at the helm of the sinking ship that was New Zealand's 2017 World Cup campaign.

"David [Kidwell] is more than welcome to apply for the role, and I believe he's keen to apply for the role. We'll let the process follow its due course and work through that one once we have the panel in place."

The board is now also on the hunt for a new CEO following the resignation of Alex Hayton on Wednesday.

It was widely suggested that Hayton's decision to step down was a product of the World Cup review, a notion Edwards rejects.

"I think he's made that decision on his own. We support [Hayton] all the way.

"It's really sad to see him go. I think he's been a fantastic servant to the game and the organisation. As he pointed out, I think he's ready for a new challenge."

The Kiwis have a full schedule off six Tests approaching in 2018, including a match against England in Denver in June.