Kearney wants Warriors boss off footy talk

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has told his chief executive to leave player appraisals to him.
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has told his chief executive to leave player appraisals to him.

Coach Stephen Kearney has told Warriors boss Cameron George to leave comments on football to him after the NRL club's CEO threatened to sack players who didn't put in.

Only a faint mathematical chance to make the finals, the Warriors stayed in Sydney this week in a bid to prepare for Saturday's clash with Cronulla.

But George created headlines in New Zealand, when he said the effort of certain players would come under the microscope of a review at the season's end.

He insisted players had to be held accountable, and warned there was no place for those who were not putting in regardless of if they were signed long-term.

George also said that was no fault of Kearney, who had the full support of the board.

But the coach was unaware the comments would be made and believed such views should only be expressed by him.

"I don't think it's a good idea for us to be toing-and-froing and playing that out in the media," Kearney said.

"My personal opinion is that's my job to do that.

"He is the CEO of the footy club. When we're talking about the footy team and the effort of individuals, that's my responsibility to make individuals aware of that."

Kearney has since spoken to George about the comments, and relayed that message.

The coach also claimed the Warriors' effort had been good in recent months, with the exception of their last two losses to Canberra and the Sydney Roosters.

A gutsy win over Manly came between those defeats, while they also beat Newcastle and Cronulla and drew with Brisbane in a three-week block last month.

"If you look at last weekend (and the 42-6 loss to the Roosters), there might've been some occasions during the period of that game where it could have been the case," Kearney said.

"In the last nine weeks we have had two occasions where we haven't taken our best performance to the footy ground against Canberra and the Roosters.

"Prior to that we had made some really consistent progress."

The Warriors' absence from the finals will mark the seventh time they've missed in the last eight years, with their 2018 return their sole appearance.

They have not signed any new NRL players for next season, with 27 of their current squad already signed on for next season.

"You can't just move players (mid-contract) - every party must agree," George told Radio Sport in an interview on Tuesday.

"But players signed here long term have got to put in and if they don't' we have that discussion with them.

"There are certainly some questions around the effort of certain players and performances throughout the year. That will come under the microscope.

"If we feel people are not putting in, there is certainly no place in this environment for them either on the field or off the field."

Australian Associated Press