‘Very disappointing’: Warriors overlook Walker brothers
The Warriors have informed Ben and Shane Walker they are out of the race to replace Steve Kearney - further opening the door for sacked Cowboys coach Paul Green to resurrect his career in New Zealand.
News Corp can reveal the list of candidates for the Warriors coaching job is narrowing with the Walker brothers officially scrapped as options to coach the club next season.
Warriors CEO Cameron George has advised the premiership-winning duo they were unsuccessful with their job interview.
With former Manly mentor Geoff Toovey also out of the running, Warriors management are closing in on their next coach with the available Green now a frontline contender to oust Kearney's caretaker Todd Payten.
A media report a fortnight ago claimed the Walkers had clinched a one-year deal with the Warriors for 2021 but Shane confirmed they will not be launching their NRL careers with the Kiwi club.
"We haven't got the job," Walker said.
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"It's very disappointing, we thought we were right in the mix.
"We had a job interview and we put forward our case, but I understand the reason why decisions are made and we have no angst or anger at all towards the Warriors' management.
"We had already started to compile a list of players we would target and our plans on how to turn the Warriors around, but unfortunately we won't get that chance."
The Walkers won the Intrust Super Cup premiership with the cash-strapped Ipswich Jets in 2015 before severing ties with the club last year after nine years in charge.
The Walkers are currently running their own businesses and insists they have not given up hope of eventually coaching in the NRL, even if they have no immediate plan to be assistants.
"We're still hopeful a chance will come up," he said.
"People make a lot about our style being left field or risky, but we've have changed our way of play three times and it was good enough to win a premiership and we believe our approach gets the best out of the individual.
"We're not worried the ship has sailed. We have made a conscious decision to approach being a head coach in a non-traditional route by not being assistants, so we understand that mindset is going to have challenges.
"Hopefully one day there will be a club board or an owner who have the confidence to back their judgement on us."
The Warriors are likely to finalise their decision over the next month with Green now firmly in the mix for the New Zealand post after seven largely successful seasons at the Cowboys, where he won the premiership in 2015.
Payten is a contender for Green's former post in Townsville if the Warriors opt against sticking with their current interim coach.