Kearney takes role as Storm assistant

Stephen Kearney will replace Jason Ryles as Craig Bellamy's NRL assistant at Melbourne, just three months after being sacked as the Warriors' head coach.

Warriors coach STEPHEN KEARNEY during a Warriors media conference at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.
Warriors coach STEPHEN KEARNEY during a Warriors media conference at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand. Picture: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Stephen Kearney will return to the NRL coaches' box as an assistant to Craig Bellamy at Melbourne next year.

Just three months after being sacked as the Warriors' head coach with more than two years left on his contract, Kearney has signed a 12-month deal with the Storm.

In doing so, he will return to where it all began for him as a coach, having previously been Bellamy's assistant between 2006 and 2010.

In this case he will replace Jason Ryles, who plans to make good on his deal to be an assistant to Eddie Jones with England's national rugby team.

"We're delighted to have someone of Stephen Kearney's calibre come home to Melbourne Storm," football manager Frank Ponissi said.

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

Kearney will also act as a mentor to a number of Melbourne's younger coaches, including Bellamy's son Aaron and former Storm utility Ryan Hinchcliffe.

Former Parramatta and Warriors Kearney coach also played 139 games for the Storm between 1999 and 2004, forming part of their inaugural premiership-winning side.