Phil Gould leaves Warriors for Bulldogs

Rugby league guru Phil Gould has left the Warriors for the Bulldogs after the Kiwi club was forced to significantly reduce his role due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gould, a two-time NRL premiership-winning coach and leading commentator, only joined the Warriors last August as a club consultant with a focus on developing their junior pathway system.

But with Covid-19 restrictions limiting his ability to set up structures in New Zealand, the Warriors agreed to release Gould from his contract to become the general manager of football at the Bulldogs.

The announcement comes after Gould rejected an approach from the Sydney club in May. But they eventually got their man, with the deal finalised over the last two days.

"I had an approach initially from the Bulldogs before Magic Round," Gould told Australia's Channel Nine.

"At the time I politely declined it because of what the Warriors were doing and what my role was there.

"I'd spoken to the Warriors owner Mark Robinson who's a tremendous man, he and Cameron George the CEO.

"I'd been feeling guilty, because of Covid, the things I wanted to do with the Warriors were just impossible to do."

George said the reduction in Gould's role was brought about by the ongoing uncertainty created by the pandemic.

The NSW-based administrator is currently unable to travel to New Zealand due to the outbreak in Sydney, which has forced the Warriors and 11 other clubs to relocate to Queensland.

Gould will continue to have a link with the Warriors and provide support to the club's pathways staff.

But George added his departure was yet another example of the challenges they face during the pandemic.