George Ndaira (born 22 February 1985) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 2000s and 2010s and the current head coach of the Newtown Jets. He played at representative level for Lebanon, and at club level in the National Rugby League (NRL) for the St. George Illawarra Dragons, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Newcastle Knights, as a hooker or halfback.

George Ndaira
Personal information
Born (1985-02-22) 22 February 1985 (age 38)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height177 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight86 kg (13 st 8 lb)
PositionHooker, Halfback
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2006 St. George Illawarra 3 0 0 0 0
2008 South Sydney 14 0 2 0 4
2009–10 Newcastle Knights 8 0 1 0 2
Total 25 0 3 0 6
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2007–09 Lebanon 9 2 13 0 34
Source: [1]

Background Edit

George Ndaira was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, he has Lebanese ancestors, and eligible to play for Lebanon due to the grandparent rule.

Rugby league career Edit

Playing career Edit

Ndaira was a part of the 2005 St George Illawarra Dragons Jersey Flegg Grand Final side. He played his school football at Marist College Kogarah and was coached by Dave Callander and Mark Hildebrandt.

He made his first grade debut in 2006 for the St George Illawarra Dragons. He played three first grade games with the Dragons. In 2007, joined the Sydney Roosters, however, he did not play a first grade game for the club, playing mostly in the reserve grade team. In 2008, he joined South Sydney Rabbitohs, playing fourteen games for the club in the season, and scoring four points (by kicking two goals).

In 2009, he joined the Newcastle Knights. He played there for two seasons. After the 2010 season, Ndaira was released from the Knights so he could sign with local Newcastle club, Kurri Kurri Bulldogs. However, this was short-lived, and he joined the Wests Tigers in 2011. While waiting for a spot in the Tigers' first grade team, he played for the Tigers' feeder side in the NSW Cup. After failing to reach first-grade for the Tigers, Ndaira again signed with Kurri Kurri for the 2012 season, as the captain-coach.[2]

In 2015, Ndaira was an assistant coach for the Newcastle Knights New South Wales Cup side. During the season, he was asked to come out of retirement by head coach Matt Lantry, after the side suffered a number of injuries.[3] He subsequently went on to play in the Knights' 2015 New South Wales Cup Grand Final win over the Wyong Roos.[4][5]

Representative career Edit

Ndaira played for Lebanon in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup qualifiers however Lebanon drew with Ireland and did not qualify.[6] George's moved from his usual position of Hooker to Half back whilst playing in the Qualifiers and earned two Man of the Match performances against Wales & Ireland before his side bowed out against Samoa.

Career highlights Edit

  • Junior Club: Arncliffe Scots
  • Round 3, 2008: Ndaira scored his first points in first grade (kicking a goal)

Coaching career Edit

Ndaira captain-coached the Kurri-Kurri Bulldogs, who played in the local Newcastle Rugby League competition. He began this role in 2012 and lasted for two years.[7]

In 2014, Ndaira became an assistant coach for the Newcastle Knights New South Wales Cup team. He remained there until the end of 2016. In 2017, he joined the Newtown Jets as their assistant coach, and stayed there until the end of 2021.

In 2022, he became the coach for the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks Jersey Flegg Cup (under 21's) team.

In 2023, he was appointed the head coach of the Newtown Jets rugby league team following the resignation of Greg Matterson [8]

References Edit

  1. ^ Rugby League Project
  2. ^ Josh Leeson (29 July 2012). "Former Knight Ndaira to captain-coach Kurri". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  3. ^ Dillon, Robert (16 September 2015). "George Ndaira nabs chance to exit as a winner | Newcastle Herald". Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  4. ^ "VB NSW Cup Grand Final Team List". NSWRL. 22 September 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  5. ^ Brett Keeble (27 September 2015). "Newcastle Knights extend Clint Newton's career with NSW Cup win over Wyong Roos". Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  6. ^ Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 15 November 2006. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Callinan, Josh (4 December 2013). "Ndaira to keep eye on Bulldogs". The Maitland Mercury. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  8. ^

External links Edit