Kearney questions Kiwi coaching role
New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney says Parramatta's horrendous start to the NRL season could force him to reconsider his role with the Kiwi Test side ahead of next year's World Cup defence.
Forced to juggle the twin coaching roles since taking on the Eels ahead of the 2011 season, Kearney admitted to battling to handle the workload as he prepared for Friday night's Test against Australia in Auckland.
Even with the NRL in hiatus for the representative weekend, Kearney hasn't been able to avoid drama back home, having ordered star off-season recruit Chris Sandow to play with the club's NSW Cup feeder side Wentworthville to try to find some much-needed form and confidence.
Contracted through to the end of the 2013 World Cup with the Kiwi national side, Kearney said he had yet to consider whether he would see out his deal.
"I haven't looked that far ahead at the minute - if I feel and the board at Parramatta feel that's going to be an issue, then that's going to have to be something that I think about," Kearney said of whether he could continue in the dual role.
"That's something that I'll need to sit down and discuss with them.
"I have done (spoken with Eels officials) over the past three or four weeks and it wasn't an issue, but things can change."
Asked whether it had been a struggle juggling the two jobs, Kearney said: "Over the last seven weeks, it's been a little difficult, but I didn't really have an issue with it last year.
"It's a fairly well-oiled machine in terms of how we organise things with the Kiwi team.
"Tony Kemp, the operations manager, basically takes care of everything else. It doesn't require me time-wise to do a great deal."
Kearney was actually hoping his time away from Sydney could help him in his bid to get the Eels back on track.
"It has been (refreshing)," he said.
"Obviously, it's been a really difficult start to the year for us and just being around the (Kiwi) lads, they have a real energy about them and spirit about them and that's been really positive."
As for Sandow's demotion, Kearney said: "I thought he needed some footy.
"With the bye, Wenty was the best opportunity."
Brought to you by