John Eales

John Eales AM (born 27 June 1970) is an Australian former rugby union player and the most successful captain in the history of Australian rugby. In 1999, he became one of the first players to win multiple Rugby World Cups.

John Eales
Birth nameJohn Anthony Eales
Date of birth (1970-06-27) 27 June 1970 (age 51)
Place of birthBrisbane, Queensland, Australia
Height200 cm (6 ft 7 in)[1]
Weight119 kg (18 st 10 lb; 262 lb)
SchoolMarist College, Ashgrove
UniversityUniversity of Queensland
SpouseLara Eales
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock, Number 8
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1989–1999 Brothers ()
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1990–2001 Queensland 112 ()
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
1996–2001 Queensland Reds 42 (402)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1991–2001 Australia 86 (173)

Early lifeEdit

Eales went to school at Marist College Ashgrove, in Ashgrove. In his youth, Eales was a cricket all-rounder and played first grade cricket for Queensland University in the Brisbane QCA cricket competition.[2] Eales completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in psychology from the University of Queensland in 1991[3][4] prior to taking to the international rugby stage.[5]

Rugby careerEdit

Eales played lock for Queensland Reds and Australia. He was given the nickname "Nobody" because "Nobody's perfect".[2]

Eales' 55-cap time as captain marked an era of Australian success in world rugby. Eales played a part in Australia's victories at the Rugby World Cup, first in 1991, and later in 1999.[2] He took over the captaincy from Phil Kearns.


Eales scored 173 points for Australia – 2 tries (one valued at 4, one at 5), 34 penalties and 31 conversions[6] – a total which, as of April 2013, places him 12th on the all-time scoring list for Australia.[7] He is the highest scoring forward in Test rugby history and, as of November 2015, only one of seven forwards to have surpassed 100 points in Test rugby[8] (the others being Richie McCaw, Jean Prat, Takashi Kikutani, Colin Charvis, Mamuka Gorgodze and Carlo Checchinato). This is largely because of his goal kicking, which is unusual for a forward; his two tries are unremarkable (in comparison, all of Checcinato's, Charvis's and McCaw's points have come from tries).[8]

Eales captained Australia on 60 occasions, 55 times in Test matches, making him the second most capped Wallaby captain after George Gregan (59). As of 2017, he is ranked seventh in games played as international captain.[9] As of 2017, Eales' 86 caps make him the fourth most capped forward in Australia's Test rugby history,[7] and joint 9th on the overall list.[7]

Eales played 20 Tests against the All Blacks, winning 11 and losing 9. Of those 20 Tests, he captained the Wallabies 11 times, winning 6 and losing 5. Eales is one of only 21 players to have represented the Queensland Reds in 100 or more state games - he represented his state in 112 games.[2] He scored a total of 402 points in the Super 12 competition with 6 tries, 66 conversions and 80 penalties for the Queensland Reds. No forward has scored more points than him in the competition's history.[2]

He is one of a select group to have won the Rugby World Cup twice.[2][10]

He retired as the most-capped lock of all time, with 84 Test appearances in that position (his other two Tests were as a number eight). Eales has since been surpassed in caps as a lock by several players.[2]

Post-playing careerEdit


Eales was a founder of the Mettle Group and his personal company the JohnEales5.[11] He is also a director of Flight Centre Travel Group and Magellan Financial Group and has been a columnist for The Australian newspaper. He is also engaged as a consultant for Westpac.[3][4]

Sport ambassador, mentor and boardsEdit

Eales acted as a "rugby ambassador" at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, which involved a number of media duties[12] and fulfilled the role as an Athlete Liaison Officer for the Australian Olympic Committee in the Athens, Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.[13]

He is also an Ambassador for the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, Hearts in Union and the Melanoma Institute Australia.[14]

Together with Bond University, he presents the annual John Eales Rugby Excellence Scholarship which includes one-on-one mentoring with Eales.[15]


Eales has written two books, Learning From Legends, Sport,[16] and a Business version.[17]

Personal lifeEdit

Politically, Eales supported Australia's becoming a republic, in the runup to the 1999 Australian republic referendum[18]



  1. ^ "2001 Australian Wallabies squad — British & Irish Lions Tour". Australian Rugby Union. Archived from the original on 22 September 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "2007 Inductee: John Eales". 1 December 2007. Archived from the original on 7 April 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  3. ^ a b c National Association of Australian University Colleges Inc Archived 10 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b "Computershare – Communication Services". Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  5. ^ "School Building Names" (PDF). St William's School Grovely. Retrieved 27 October 2017. John Eales Oval - Past student and ex- Australian Wallaby Captain
  6. ^ "Statsguru/John Eales/Test matches". Archived from the original on 7 April 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "Statsguru/Test matches/Australia". Archived from the original on 7 April 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Statsguru/Test matches/Forwards". Archived from the original on 7 April 2013.
  9. ^ "Statsguru/Test matches/Captains". Archived from the original on 7 April 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  10. ^
  11. ^ (2009). Mr John Eales, AM. Retrieved 13 November 2009.
  12. ^ "From the touchline – Put your house on Pumas (not mine)". 11 October 2007. Archived from the original on 14 February 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  13. ^ Conomos, Taya (27 March 2012). "ALO Column: John Eales". Australian Olympic Committee. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  14. ^ "AIEF Ambassadors - John Eales AM". Australian Indigenous Education Foundation. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  15. ^ "John Eales Rugby Excellence Scholarship". Bond University. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  16. ^ Eales, John, Learning from legends / John Eales, Fairfax Books, ISBN 9781921190469
  17. ^ Eales, John, Learning from legends. Business / John Eales, Fairfax Books, ISBN 9781921190759
  18. ^
  19. ^ Australian Institute of Sport 'Best of the Best' Archived 17 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "John Eales". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  21. ^ "Queensland's Paul McLean inducted into Wallaby Hall of Fame". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  22. ^ Colangelo, Anthony (4 December 2020). "Women's T20 side, Eales claim top honours at Sport Australia awards". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 December 2020.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Rugby Union Captain
Preceded by
Phil Kearns
Australia rugby union captains
Succeeded by
George Gregan
Preceded by
Francois Pienaar
(South Africa)
IRB World Cup
winning captain

Succeeded by
Martin Johnson