22 Feb 2009

Ito replaces Bennett as Kiwis assistant coach

8:42 am on 22 February 2009

The former rugby league international Tony Iro has been named as the Kiwis' new assistant coach, after the Australian Wayne Bennett announced his unavailability.

Bennett worked alongside Stephen Kearney as a coaching and management adviser throughout 2008, culminating in New Zealand beating the Kangaroos to win the World Cup.

Bennett has told the New Zealand Rugby League he won't be able to continue in the role as he needs to concentrate on his new job as St George Illawarra's NRL coach.

NZRL chairman Ray Haffenden says Bennett's decision was totally understandable.

He says the board is delighted Iro can take up the job.