UPDATED 3/4 @ 5:27pm: Cleary’s contract will see him at Wests until at least the end of 2020.
UPDATED 3/4 @ 4:23pm: Wests Tigers have officially confirmed Ivan Cleary as head coach, effective immediately.
It’s finally over, people. You can go back to your lives.
The worst kept secret in rugby league appears to have finally been confirmed. Stuff (via SMH) reports that former Panthers and Warriors mentor Ivan Cleary met with the Tigers playing group this morning, following their recovery session.
In lieu of an official announcement (which is expected at 4pm this afternoon), this meeting essentially confirms the appointment of Cleary as the next head coach of the joint venture club. (It would just be cruel for him to meet with the group just to inform them that they’re rubbish and he wants nothing to do with them.)
This will be the second club rebuild undertaken by Cleary in six years, after he presided over the Panthers’ transition from NRL laughing stock to preliminary finalists, from 2012 to 2015. It’s a tough assignment, but he’s done it before.
Now we all have to find something else to talk about. How’s that Stephen Kearney bloke doing?
Cleary has coached 264 first grade matches at New Zealand and Penrith, and has a career winning percentage of 47.7%.