Sport | Coach

Former Warrior to return, star fullback to leave, head coach locked in for 2023

Next year is shaping to look quite different when the NRL 2023 season starts up for the Warriors.

To cap off the club's last few days of drama, the club's new head coach has been confirmed today in the form of Penrith Panthers assistant coach Andrew Webster.

Webster has served as an assistant before at the Warriors for 2015 and 2016 and has been part of the Wests Tigers and Parramatta Eels clubs.

At his current club Penrith, along with head coach Ivan Cleary, the pair were instrumental in the Panthers' near-perfect 2021 season, the same year they became the NRL Premiership champions.

Current acting coach Stacey Jones hands over the reins to Webster next year, while Webster will continue with the Panthers until this season ends.

Walsh leaves, Nicoll-Klokstad returns

Earlier in the week it was also confirmed that fullback Reece Walsh will depart the Warriors at the end of the year.

The young fullback prodigy made it clear to media months ago that he planned to relocate to the Warriors' home base of Auckland from 2023 onward.

But according to the NZ Heraldreports out of Australia said that Walsh had split from the mother of his child, forcing him to rethink his situation of relocating to New Zealand.

Because of this, the Warriors gave Walsh permission to look for another club. It was confirmed yesterday that he will return to where his rugby league career began: the Brisbane Broncos, from next year onwards on a three-year deal.

In a post on Instagram, Walsh said he was excited to return to Brisbane but was also still committed to playing for the Warriors for the rest of this season.

Walsh's loss isn't all for nil, however. On Wednesday morning confirmed the re-signing of Canberra Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad on a three-year deal, starting next season.

Nicoll-Klokstad (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Cook Islands, Norwegian) is a former Warrior himself, having debuted for them back in 2017. In 2019 he was shipped to Canberra, where he spent the past four seasons and made it to the grand final that same year, ultimately losing to the Sydney Roosters.