Waratahs banking on good impression

Group 20 rugby league

THE Waratah Tigers are finally on the brink of locking in a coach for next season after agreeing to terms with former junior Kose Lelei.

The 25-year-old - who has spent time with NRL clubs Canberra, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cronulla and St George-Illawarra - is keen to begin his coaching career in his old hometown and will visit Griffith this weekend with his partner, Whitney.

But whether the 'Tahs get his signature will hinge largely on whether she warms to the city, said a forthright club president Ken Wells.

"He wants to come home and he will provided his partner likes Griffith and wants to stay," he said. 

"She's coming during the heatwave, which is a bit of a bummer, but if she likes it, Kose is moving back."

Wells said all members of the Waratahs family - from current, former and future players to coaches, officials, supporters, wives and partners - are encouraged to attend a welcoming barbeque for Lelei at the Exies Sporties tonight at 6.30pm.

The Waratahs have been searching for a first-grade coach since the retirement of Danny Graham, who shared the role with Viliami Ngu last year as the club finished eighth in Group 20.

Lelei spent the majority of this year with the Dragons' NSW Cup affiliate Illawarra Cutters, and played alongside fellow Waratahs junior Michael Henderson, who has since become captain-coach of Group Nine outfit Temora.

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