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Nathan Frederick Cayless (born 28 March 1978) is a former New Zealand international rugby league footballer who was a long-time captain of the Parramatta Eels in the National Rugby League. His position of choice was prop forward. He is also a former captain of the New Zealand national team, whom he led to World Cup glory against Australia in 2008. Cayless was the head coach of Intrust Super Premiership NSW side The Wentworthville Magpies from 2016 to 2018.[2]

Nathan Cayless
Nathan Cayless Wentworthville.jpg
Personal information
Full nameNathan Frederick Cayless
Born (1978-03-28) 28 March 1978 (age 41)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight106 kg (16 st 9 lb)
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1997–10 Parramatta Eels 259 28 0 1 113
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1998–08 New Zealand 39 3 0 0 12
Source: [1]


Cayless was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. He is of Maori descent. He is the older brother of fellow New Zealand international Jason Cayless.

While attending Parramatta Marist High School, Nathan played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 1995 and 1996.[3] However, he later chose to represent New Zealand at senior level.

Playing careerEdit

Cayless representing Parramatta

Parramatta EelsEdit

With the Eels, he holds the record for the most games as captain of any team in the NRL. Cayless was never a prolific try-scorer; the most he ever scored in a season was 5. He also endured a scoring drought spanning over 80 games in his last several NRL seasons. In the final game of his career, Cayless finally brought the drought to an end, touching down in front of his home crowd. He also kicked a Field Goal in 2008 against the Newcastle Knights to send the match into extra time. Luke Burt then kicked the winning Field Goal. In 2014, Cayless was inducted into the Parramatta Eels hall of fame.[4]

New ZealandEdit

Cayless was selected for the New Zealand team to compete in the end of season 1999 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against Australia he played from the interchange bench in the Kiwis' 22-20 loss. Cayless was part of the Kiwis squad for the 2000 Rugby League World Cup, in which they reached the final.

Cayless was selected to play for the New Zealand national team as a prop forward in the 2007 ANZAC Test loss against Australia.[5]

Cayless captained New Zealand to victory in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. Cayless became one of the New Zealand national rugby league team' most-capped players, having appeared on 38 occasions by April 2009 when he retired from international rugby league, stating that he wanted to focus the rest of his football career on the Eels.[6]

Coaching careerEdit

In 2016, Cayless became the head coach of Intrust Super Premiership NSW side the Wentworthville Magpies. Cayless spent two years at the club but failed to make the finals on both occasions. On October 1, 2018, Cayless signed a two year deal to become the new head coach of the New Zealand Warriors reserve grade side.[7][8]


  • Junior Club: Wentworthville Magpies
  • Career Stats: 259 career games to date scoring 28 tries, 1 Field Goal
  • National: 38 tests for New Zealand. World Cup winning captain 2008.
  • Most capped Captain in the NRL: 217 Games captained.


  1. ^ "Statistics at". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "SportingPulse Homepage for Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League". SportingPulse. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
  4. ^ "Parramatta National Rugby League Hall of Fame". Parramatta Eels.
  5. ^ "Anzac Test Match 2007". Shawn Dollin, Andrew Ferguson and Bill Bates. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  6. ^ "New Zealand skipper Nathan Cayless quits representative rugby league". Fox Sports. 24 April 2009. Archived from the original on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
  7. ^
  8. ^