Rugby league's greatest coaches

Coach Wayne Bennett walks alone with the most premierships - seven - in the modern NRL era.
Coach Wayne Bennett walks alone with the most premierships - seven - in the modern NRL era.

RUGBY LEAGUE'S TOP FIVE COACHES OF ALL-TIME

CRAIG BELLAMY

Coached: 2003-current (Melbourne). Record: 310 wins, 139 losses 2 draws (68.7%). Premierships: 2

After serving an apprenticeship under Wayne Bennett at Brisbane, Bellamy is a rarity among the greats as a one-club head coach. While winning two titles (with a further two stripped for club salary-cap cheating) from seven grand finals, Bellamy's trademark is consistency - making the finals in all 17 of the seasons under his reign.

WAYNE BENNETT

Coached: 2019-current (South Sydney), 2012-2014 (Newcastle), 2009-2011 (St George Illawarra), 1998-08, 2015-2018 (Brisbane), 1987 (Canberra). Record: 569 wins 344 losses 14 draws (61.4%). Premierships: 7.

Bennett has a reputation as a masterful man manager and shrewd tactician. Started his coaching career at Canberra alongside then Test coach Don Furner, making the grand final. Spent an astonishing 21 years at Brisbane, winning six premierships and losing only one grand final.

JACK GIBSON

Coached: 1967-68, 1974-76 (Eastern Suburbs), 1970-71 (St George), 1973 (Newtown), 1978-79 (South Sydney), 1981-83 (Parramatta), 1985-87 (Cronulla). Record: 264 wins, 150 losses, 11 draws (62.1%). Premierships: 5

Nicknamed Supercoach, Gibson was highly regarded for his wisdom and coaching innovation which stemmed from his love of NFL. He fell just short of winning three successive titles with Easts from 1974-76 before enjoying similar success with the Eels.

ARTHUR HALLOWAY

Coached: 1916-20 (Balmain), 1923 (Newtown), 1930-31, 1933-38, 1945, 1947 (Eastern Suburbs), 1940-42 (North Sydney), 1948 (Canterbury). Record: 197 wins, 115 losses, 18 draws (59.7%). Premierships: 8

Halloway won seven premierships as a pioneering player, including four as captain-coach with Balmain, before winning a further four coaching Easts. Halloway also holds the record for most consecutive wins as coach with 35 on the trot.

TIM SHEENS 1984-87 (Penrith), 1988-96 (Canberra), 1997-2001 (North Queensland), 2003-12 (West Tigers) 2018-19 (Hull Kingston Rovers), 2020: (Widnes). Record: (NRL) 364 wins 334 losses 11 draws (51.3%). Premierships: 4

Sheens helped the Raiders to their maiden title in 1989, which he backed up in 1990 before winning a third in 1994. Under his reign West Tigers won their first in 2005. Mentored a swag of current coaches, with the likes of Craig Bellamy, Ricky Stuart, Mal Meninga and Kevin Walters all former players of Sheens.

Australian Associated Press