The misfiring Warriors have suffered a significant blow with coach Nathan Brown quitting the club with 18 months left on his contract.
The club confirmed his departure this morning leaving club great and current assistant coach Stacey Jones in charge. Jones becomes the fourth coach in the last three years.
Brown lives in Australia, where the Warriors have been based for the past two seasons due to earlier Covid-enforced travel restrictions between the two countries.
The Warriors are expected to return to New Zealand in two weeks for their first home game since August 2019. Brown's current deal expires at the end of 2023.
The Daily Telegraph reports Brown called an emergency meeting with Warriors owner Mark Robinson and CEO Cameron George at 11am.
The Warriors' statement came out shortly after.
"Nathan told us he had made a personal decision that for family reasons he wouldn't be able to relocate to New Zealand as originally planned for the long term," said Warriors CEO Cameron George.
"We fully appreciate his position and the call he has made.
"Given those circumstances we agreed we needed to make an immediate change.
"It's tough for everyone involved but, in the best interests of the club, we felt we had to go in a different direction now.
"Nathan has worked so hard for our club and we are extremely disappointed it has come to this. We're truly grateful for what he has done and wish him and his family all the very best for the future."
Brown, who took over from Todd Payten last year, has endured a nightmare run as head coach this season with the team slumping to a fifth straight defeat with their 44-12 to the Sea Eagles at the weekend.
The club is currently languishing in 14th place on the table, with only four victories in 13 games.
The Warriors have a 35.4 percent winning record under Brown but all of those games have been played in Australia. He didn't exactly bring a winning pedigree to the role. He was fired by the Newcastle Knights, with a 26 percent winning record, near the end of the 2019 season after also going through a five-game losing streak.
Club legend steps in
Jones (46) steps into the position after being involved with the club in playing and coaching roles for all but a few years of its existence.
"Stacey's love of the club and knowledge of it is unparalleled. He has been on the inside of it for close to 25 years," said George.
"We'll be giving him, staff and players all the support possible for the rest of the season."
Jones played his entire 261-game NRL career with the Warriors from 1995-2005 and then again in 2009 following two years with Les Catalans in the Super League in 2006 and 2007.
After a part-time coaching role with the Warriors in 2008 and his comeback year in 2009, he returned as the club's pathways manager in 2013 before coaching the Junior Warriors to the 2014 NYC premiership title. In 2015 and 2016 he guided the club's New South Wales Cup side to the finals each season.
He has been in an NRL assistant coach's position since 2017 apart from last year when he returned home to work with the club's Sky Sport Future Warriors programme before heading back to Australia to re-join the NRL squad's coaching staff this season.
George said the club appreciated Jones stepping in to take up the role on an interim basis.
He added he would now work with owner Mark Robinson on an agreed process to appoint a new head coach.