Kearney named NZ coach, Bennett advisor

Former Kiwis skipper Stephen Kearney has been appointed coach of the New Zealand rugby league team, with former Australia mentor Wayne Bennett to be a team advisor.

Kearney is currently an assistant with NRL premiers Melbourne and assumes the position after Gary Kemble quit following a horror European tour last year.

Brisbane coach Bennett had been expected to be named New Zealand head coach today, but has instead assumed a role advising the team ahead of the 2008 World Cup in Australia.

Bennett, who confirmed last week that he would leave the Broncos at the end of this year's season, his 21st in charge of the club, coached Australia 16 times between 1998 and 2005.