NRL 2020: Stephen Kearney heading to Melbourne Storm as assistant coach under Craig Bellamy

Former NZ Warriors coach Stephen Kearney is heading back to Melbourne as an assistant to super-coach Craig Bellamy.

Kearney was sacked by the Warriors a month into the revamped NRL season and has kept a relatively low-profile since, but he's signed a one-year deal with the club he played 139 games for.

Kearney served as an assistant to Bellamy from 2006-10 before a two-year stint as head coach of the Parramatta Eels.

Following an unsuccessful stint at the Eels, Kearney spent four years at the Brisbane Broncos under Wayne Bennett before taking he shifted back home to the Warriors.

The former Kiwis captain coached the national team in 42 internationals, leading them to World Cup glory in 2009 and two Four Nations titles. 

His return to Storm, will help the club cover for the departure of Jason Ryles, who will take up a position with England’s rugby team at the end of this season.

 "We’re delighted to have someone of Stephen Kearney’s calibre come home to Melbourne Storm," General Manager Football Frank Ponissi says.

 "He is a quality coach and an outstanding person who, along with his wife Piri, will be warmly welcomed back to our club.

 "While Stephen will be an assistant coach under Craig Bellamy, we are changing our coaching structure for 2021, with Marc Brentnall, Aaron Bellamy and Ryan Hinchcliffe taking on extra coaching responsibilities with our NRL squad.

 "Stephen will have a mentoring role with both Aaron and Ryan, as well as assisting Craig, and we look forward to the input he will have across our football department."