Super League bosses Shaun Wane and Nathan Brown have ruled themselves out of the vacant New Zealand Warriors job, although both expressed an intention to coach in the NRL in the future.
Wigan’s Wane has been made favourite by an Australian bookmaker to succeed former Bradford boss Matthew Elliott as head coach of the Auckland club after he stepped down at the weekend but he insists he has unfinished business in Super League.
Andrew McFadden has been appointed as acting head coach of the Warriors for the rest of the season but is not seen as a long-term appointment and Wane, who is out of contract at his home-town club this year, is being tipped to follow ex-Wigan players Sam Tomkins and Thomas Leuluai to the Warriors in 2015.
“They’re just rumours, I’ve not heard anything,” Wane told a news conference at Orrell on Tuesday.
“I’m happy coaching here. I’m part way into a really important job.”
Wane is close friends with the Warriors’ general manager, former Wigan captain Dean Bell, and his stock is high after guiding Wigan to a league and Cup double last season.
Now in his third season as head coach, the 49-year-old Wane has verbally agreed a new contract with Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan to run from 2015 and says he is determined to complete the job at the DW Stadium.
“Ian will be up some time in the next few weeks and we might sit down, I’m not sure, but I’m not stressed about it,” Wane said.
“It’s the last thing I think about, to be honest.
“It’s a great job over here. I absolutely would love to be given a chance to coach in the NRL some time before I retire because I want to prove myself over there.
“We’re not rated over there at all but I’d love to be given a chance because I know I can make a difference.
“At the minute I’m trying to make a difference here.”
Brown, a former coach of St George Illawarra, and Australia national coach Tim Sheens are among the other names being linked with the Auckland vacancy.
Brown, who took Huddersfield to the Challenge Cup final during a successful four-year spell in Yorkshire, has guided Saints to top spot in Super League after the first two months of the season but he is less than halfway through a three-year contract.
“I enjoy coaching at St Helens,” Brown told a news conference at the club’s training base.
“I’ve got a very good job here and I’m very grateful for it.
“At some stage, I’d love to go home and coach in the NRL but the timing is they key for me and the timing is not right at the moment.”