Payten rebuff forces rethink from Warriors

The Warriors have been forced to look for a new coach with first-choice Todd Payten turning the NRL club down.

Warriors interim head coach TODD PAYTEN.
Warriors interim head coach TODD PAYTEN. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Warriors boss Cameron George says the NRL club is in no rush to appoint a permanent coach after first-choice Todd Payten knocked back their offer.

George says the NRL club needs to establish if they are going to based in New Zealand or Australia next season before looking to plan B.

Payten, the interim coach, announced on Monday night he would pursue the vacant North Queensland job as he wanted to remain in Australia with his father-in-law battling cancer.

In another hit for the club, playmaker Blake Green, who had been told he wouldn't be offered a new deal beyond 2020, has signed with Newcastle for the remainder of the season.

George said COVID-forced circumstances meant they were in no hurry to appoint a coach after Payten's rejection.

"People are asking me right now why it's taking so long but the reality of the situation that we're in, is that we can't get people into this country and we're even struggling to get our players back due to restrictions," George said.

"Under those circumstances there shouldn't be any rush.

"First and foremost we want to get the right outcome but secondly I don't know what the next six months is going to look like - I don't know whether this club is going to based out of Australia this year or based back in New Zealand.

"They're all major factors to employing people."

George said the offer was made a few weeks back to Payten, who took over from axed coach Stephen Kearney in June, with him mulling his personal circumstances.

"We spoke to him about the coaching role and due to personal circumstances he withdrew from the considerations," George said.

"We will continue to support Todd and his family."

Payten will continue in the interim role until the end of the season or a permanent coach is appointed, leading the 12th-placed Warriors in their round-13 battle with Manly on Friday night.

George said they wouldn't reconsider interest from former Manly coach Geoff Toovey and brothers Ben and Shane Walker.