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Ricky John Stuart (born 7 January 1967) is an Australian professional rugby league football coach who is the head coach of the Canberra Raiders in the NRL and a former rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.[4]

Ricky Stuart
Ricky Stuart Canberra.jpg
Personal information
Full nameRicky John Stuart
Born (1967-01-07) 7 January 1967 (age 52)
Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia
Height175 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight83 kg (13 st 1 lb)
Playing information
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1988–98 Canberra Raiders 203 39 7 25 195
1999–00 Canterbury Bulldogs 40 2 0 2 10
Total 243 41 7 27 205
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1990 NSW City 1 2 0 0 8
1990–94 New South Wales 14 3 0 0 12
1991 NSW Country 1 0 0 0 0
1990–94 Australia 9 1 0 1 5
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
2002–06 Sydney Roosters 130 79 1 50 61
2007–10 Cronulla Sharks 91 38 0 53 42
2013 Parramatta Eels 24 5 0 19 21
2014– Canberra Raiders 148 73 1 74 49
Total 393 195 2 196 50
Years Team Gms W D L W%
2004 NSW Country 1 1 0 0 100
2005–12 New South Wales 9 4 0 5 44
2006–08 Australia 11 10 0 1 91
As of 7 October 2019
Source: [1][2]

He was also the head coach of the New South Wales State of Origin team, having replaced Craig Bellamy following a fifth consecutive failure in the 2010 series. Stuart had previously been coach of the Australian national side, and has coached National Rugby League clubs, the Sydney Roosters (taking them to three consecutive grand finals from 2002–2004), Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and the Parramatta Eels.

A former international representative rugby league and rugby union player – a dual-code international – Stuart also played State of Origin for New South Wales in the first Gould era. At club level, Stuart was the half-back of the "Green Machine", the Canberra Raiders team that won three premierships in 1989, 1990 and 1994 and were runners-up in 1991 who were coached by Tim Sheens. As a player Stuart was noted for his ability to throw long, spiralling passes to both the left and right sides of the field.[5]

Early lifeEdit

Stuart was born in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia.

He had originally played rugby league as a child, but he took up rugby union while attending St Edmund's College.[6]

Rugby union careerEdit

Stuart was selected for the ACT Schoolboys in 1984.

Stuart's union career was with the Queanbeyan Whites before being selected for the Wallabies tour of Argentina in 1987. Stuart played three tour matches but no Test matches. Stuart played in both the Fly-half and Scrum-half positions.[7]

Rugby league careerEdit


Stuart then switched codes to league and joined the Canberra Raiders team in 1988, winning the club's player of the year award that season. He was a key member of the club's most successful period in the late 1980s, and early 1990s, playing halfback inside a backline including legendary talents Laurie Daley, Mal Meninga and Gary Belcher. Stuart would go on to win three premierships with the Canberra Raiders. After the 1989 Grand Final victory, Stuart travelled to England with the Raiders for the 1989 World Club Challenge which was lost to Widnes.

Stuart was named man-of-the-match in the second game of the 1990 State of Origin series. He won the Clive Churchill Medal in the Raiders' 1990 grand final victory. He debuted in the first test of the 1990 Kangaroo tour against Great Britain in London in October 1990, playing five-eighth outside Allan Langer. This appearance saw him become Australia's 38th dual code rugby international, following Michael O'Connor and preceding Scott Gourley. He replaced Langer at halfback in the next test. In 1992 and 1993 Stuart was again named the Raiders' player of the year and in 1993 Stuart won the Dally M Medal for the Winfield Cup's Player of the Year. He went on the 1994 Kangaroo Tour and his first test of the tour was the 2nd test. He was again preceded by Langer.


Stuart retired from first grade after playing 234 games for the Canterbury Bulldogs and Canberra Raiders in 1989 to 2000 after failing to recover from a recurring knee injury.[8]

Coaching careerEdit

Sydney RoostersEdit

Stuart began his first grade coaching career in 2002 with the Sydney Roosters, taking over from Graham Murray and winning the premiership in his first year as coach. Having won the 2002 NRL Premiership, the Roosters traveled to England to play the 2003 World Club Challenge against Super League champions, St Helens R.F.C.. Stuart coached Sydney to a 38-0 victory. That year he took the Roosters to the 2003 NRL grand final but they lost to the Penrith Panthers. The 2004 Stuart-coached Roosters side was also beaten in the Grand Final, but the team struggled in 2005 and 2006. Stuart's contract was terminated and he left the Roosters two weeks before the end of the 2006 season.

Stuart in 2009

Cronulla-Sutherland SharksEdit

In 2007 Stuart took over from Stuart Raper as head coach of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks with a two-year contract, which was then extended to the end of the 2011 playing season.

Despite the Sharks making the preliminary finals in 2008, Stuart's time with the club was marred by a horror year in 2009. Not only was the club in dire financial straits [9] but the Cronulla Sharks club was also tarnished by media allegations about a 2002 group-sex incident involving former Sharks players, player Reni Maitua's dismissal after testing positive to drugs,[10] removal of the captaincy from key player Paul Gallen, due to making racist remarks several unsavoury incidents involving now-disgraced CEO Tony Zappia (including his assault of a female staff member and involvement in an insurance-fraud fan donation scandal).[11]

On 19 July 2010 Stuart resigned as Cronulla-Sutherland coach six weeks before the end of the 2010 season. Stuart said that he decided to leave Cronulla after he felt that he no longer had the support of his players. Stuart went on to say “I just feel I can’t get that extra bit out of them at the moment, Talking to the players at halftime and after the game, I could probably sense with them that this was the only decision".[12]

Stuart leaving the club ended yet another tenure prematurely and at loggerheads with club executives, members and players, with Cronulla appointing Shane Flanagan as his replacement.[13]

Stuart in 2011

Parramatta EelsEdit

Stuart signed a lucrative three-year contract with the Parramatta Eels, beginning in 2013. This meant that Stuart had to stand down as the head coach of the New South Wales State of Origin team, as the state had put in a policy that the head coach would not have any relation to an NRL club. The Eels had in recent years been perennial underachievers, with Stuart set the unenviable task of resurrecting the team after the team finished last in 2012. However, in the round 4 match against the Roosters, Stuart suffered the worst defeat in his NRL coaching career, losing 50-0.[14] In the aftermath of the game, Stuart said at the press conference "I can't say it won't happen again, it will and I hope to turn it around quickly but it won't, it is going to take a long time to turn it around, we have to keep building our roster because it is not up to the level of other rosters".[15]

In April 2013 Stuart was fined $10,000 for questioning a referee's impartiality following a loss to the Gold Coast.[16]

On 11 September 2013, Stuart announced that he was quitting the Parramatta Eels to join the Canberra Raiders as head coach on a three-year contract to continue his coaching career.[17]

Canberra RaidersEdit

Stuart took up the head coach position of the Canberra Raiders on a three-year deal in 2014.[4]

Following Canberra's loss in round 10 of the 2014 NRL season, Stuart spoke to the media saying “When you get shit refereeing, sorry, when you get poor refereeing decisions that are just incorrect, purely incorrect, that frustrates you because it’s a tight competition and every game’s a tight game". Stuart was later fined $10,000 by the NRL for his post match comments.[18][19]

In 2016, Stuart coached Canberra to a second-placed finish at the end of the regular season. In week one of the finals, Canberra were upset in front of a sold out home crowd losing to eventual premiers Cronulla 16-14. Canberra would go on to defeat Penrith the following week to qualify for the club's first preliminary final in 19 years. Canberra went on to fall short of a grand final appearance losing to Melbourne 14-12.[20][21]

In July 2018 after a match against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in which a refereeing mistake led to a try lost the raiders the game, Stuart demanded that the NRL overhaul the bunker system responsible to reviewing potential tries.[22]

In the 2019 NRL season, Stuart guided Canberra to a 4th place finish at the end of the 2019 regular season. Canberra would then go on to defeat Melbourne and South Sydney to qualify for their first grand final in 25 years. In the 2019 NRL Grand Final against the Sydney Roosters, Canberra would go on to lose the match 14-8 in controversial circumstances at ANZ Stadium. During the second half of the game and with only 10 minutes remaining, Canberra were initially given a new six tackle set after referee Ben Cummins had ruled that the Sydney Roosters had touched the ball. Canberra player Jack Wighton would then be tackled with the ball. Cummins later ruled that it was not a repeat set and it was a handover to the Sydney Roosters. In the following minutes, Easts player James Tedesco would score the match winning try.

In the post match press conference, Stuart told the media "You all saw it. None of us here will be commenting on that tonight. It's not the time to talk about it".[23][24][25]

Representative CoachingEdit

State of OriginEdit

In 2005, Stuart was appointed coach of the New South Wales.[citation needed] Although Stuart only coached the NSW side for just one series, the Blues managed to win the series 2-1 after losing the first match in golden point. On 17 November 2010, Stuart was appointed as the state's first full-time coach of the New South Wales State of Origin team for two years. Stuart's victory in 2005 was the last time NSW won an origin series until the Laurie Daley coached Blues won in 2014.

Stuart coached the Blues for the 2011 series, which was lost to the Maroons by two games to one.

Stuart continued in the NSW head coaching role for the 2012 series, which was once again lost by two games to one. For the second consecutive year however, New South Wales won Game II in Sydney. Shortly after signing on as Parramatta Eels coach for the 2013 season onwards, Stuart resigned from his role as NSW coach.[26]


In December 2005, Stuart was appointed as coach of Australian national rugby league team, replacing Wayne Bennett after Australia's loss in the 2005 Tri-Nations Final to New Zealand by a scoreline of 24-0.[27] This meant that Stuart had to stand down as coach of the New South Wales State of Origin team. Stuart enjoyed success with the Kangaroos: winning the Anzac Tests of 2006 and 2007, as well as the 2006 Tri-Nations. In addition, at the end of the 2007 season, the team won a one-off Test against New Zealand.

2008 World Cup controversyEdit

Stuart's Australian team lost the 2008 Rugby League World Cup Final to New Zealand, 34–20. Afterwards he was reported to be so incensed by the defeat that he verbally attacked Geoff Carr, the Chief Executive of Australian Rugby League, claiming that tournament organizers and match officials conspired to cause the Australian loss.[28] The next morning he had a chance meeting with Ashley Klein, who refereed the final, and Stuart Cummings, England's director of referees, at their hotel. He is reported to have verbally abused both officials in front of a number of witnesses, calling Klein a cheat, and of being physically and aggressively intimidating.[29]


Ricky Stuart – Coaching Results by Season[30]
NRL Team Year Games Wins Draws Losses Win % Notes
Sydney Roosters 2002 28 20 1 7 71% Won 2002 NRL Grand Final against New Zealand Warriors
2003 27 19 0 8 70% Lost 2003 NRL Grand Final against Penrith Panthers
2004 27 21 0 6 78% Lost 2004 NRL Grand Final against Bulldogs
2005 24 11 0 13 46% Finished 9th (out of 15)
2006 24 8 0 16 33% Finished 14th (out of 15)
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 2007 24 10 0 14 42% Finished 11th (out of 16)
2008 25 18 0 7 72% Lost Grand Final qualifier against Melbourne Storm
2009 24 5 0 19 21% Finished 15th (out of 16)
Parramatta Eels 2013 24 5 0 19 21% Finished 16th (out of 16)
Canberra Raiders 2014 24 8 0 16 33% Finished 15th (out of 16)
Canberra Raiders 2015 24 10 0 14 42% Finished 10th (out of 16)
Canberra Raiders 2016 27 19 1 7 70% Finished 2nd (out of 16). Lost Preliminary Final to Melbourne Storm.
Canberra Raiders 2017 24 11 0 13 46% Finished 10th (out of 16)
Career 325 164 2 159 50%

Personal lifeEdit

Stuart is married to his wife Kaylie and they have three children - daughter Emma (who is autistic) and two sons Jed and Jack (short for Jackson).[31]

The Ricky Stuart FoundationEdit

In 2011, inspired by the struggles of his daughter, Stuart and his wife founded the Ricky Stuart Foundation, a charity which aims to raise awareness of autism and to assist with the provision of carers and support for families. The Raiders replace their major jersey sponsor for one round each year with the foundation's logo to help raise further awareness.


  1. ^ RLP
  2. ^ Rugby League Project Coaches
  3. ^ Masters, Roy (26 September 2008). "Finals feud: Sticky v Bellyache". Brisbane Times. Australia: Fairfax Media. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Ricky Stuart quits as Parramatta coach to join Canberra Raiders". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  5. ^ {{cite book Having managed to continue to find work although being the worst coach in history he has gained the nickname 'destroyer of clubs' due to his ability to rip the heart and soul put of every team he has been a part of. The fact he still remains an employed first grade coach just proves that anything is possible. | last = Middleton | first = David | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = League of Legends: 100 Years of Rugby League in Australia | publisher = National Museum of Australia | year = 2008 | location = | pages = 31 | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = 978-1-876944-64-3}}
  6. ^ "Stuart given honour of addressing Wallabies". AAP Sports News (Australia). 14 November 2003. Archived from the original (Fee required) on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2007.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Reni Maitua tests positive to drugs
  11. ^ 08/06/2009 Zappia quits
  12. ^ "Gus takes reins at Roosters; Stuart quits Sharks". NRL.
  13. ^ 24/05/2010 NRL Media Release: Ricky Stuart Granted Release from the Sharks
  14. ^ Rampaging Roosters obliterate listless Eels, by Adam Lucius, Sportal, dated 1 April 2013.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Ricky Stuart cops $10,000 fine from NRL". 3 News NZ. 16 April 2013.
  17. ^ [2], by Ian McCullough, NRL News, dated 11 September 2013.
  18. ^ "Ricky Stuart rant and foul language mar Penrith Panthers' 26-20 win over Canberra Raiders". Daily Telegraph.
  19. ^ "Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart fined $10,000 by NRL over foul-mouthed referee rant".
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "NRL grand final player ratings: Roosters and Raiders hits and misses". SMH.
  24. ^ "Sydney Roosters beat Canberra Raiders to win NRL Grand Final". BBC.
  25. ^ "How Ricky Stuart reacted to grand final 'six-again' refereeing shocker". WWOS.
  26. ^ Why Ricky Stuart made the call to quit coaching the NSW Blues| Herald Sun
  27. ^ AAP (12 December 2005). "Stuart is new Kangaroos coach". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 January 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 October 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ "Rugby League Tables". Archived from the original on 21 August 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2007.
  31. ^

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Mal Meninga
Canberra Raiders captain
Succeeded by
Laurie Daley
Preceded by
Graham Murray
Sydney Roosters

Succeeded by
Chris Anderson
Preceded by
Stuart Raper
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Succeeded by
Shane Flanagan
Preceded by
Phil Gould 2002–2004
Craig Bellamy 2008-2010
New South Wales State of Origin

Succeeded by
Graham Murray 2006–2007
Laurie Daley 2013–
Preceded by
Wayne Bennett

Succeeded by
Tim Sheens
Preceded by
Stephen Kearney
Parramatta Eels

Succeeded by
Brad Arthur
Preceded by
Andrew Dunemann (interim)
Canberra Raiders

Succeeded by