John Cartwright (rugby league)
9 August 1965 |
Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||188 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||108 kg (17 st 0 lb)|
|1996||Salford City Reds||6||1||0||0||4|
|1989–92||New South Wales||8||1||0||0||4|
|2007–||Gold Coast Titans||188||88||0||100||47|
|Source: Yesterday's HeroRLP|
John Cartwright (born 9 August 1965) is an Australian professional rugby league football coach and former player. He is the current head coach for the Gold Coast Titans of the National Rugby League. A "strong running and skilful passing" Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative second-row forward, Cartwright played his club football with the Penrith Panthers, winning the 1991 premiership with them.
In 1988, under the guidance of Ron Willey, Penrith developed a heavyweight, aggressive forward pack of which Cartwright and second row partner Mark Geyer were the cornerstones. Both were much larger than most 1980s second-rowers and could not only hit-up very hard but offload extremely difficult passes to support players like Greg Alexander, Chris Mortimer and later Brad Fittler, creating major problems for Penrith's opponents. By 1989 the pair were creating large numbers of tries for the Panthers.
Cartwright had a sudden rise through representative ranks in 1989. Initially not chosen for either Sydney team, he took his place in the firsts team after a spate of injuries. He was the named on the bench for New South Wales for the first State of Origin match. Unfortunately, a late injury to Ian Roberts forced him to play in the front row, to which he was ill-suited, and he was dropped after one match. At the end of the year, he was sent off against Balmain and suspended for four matches. Penrith were thrashed 33-6 and could not win either of their two finals without Cartwright. On returning from suspension, Cartwright found form very quickly and at the end of the 1990 NSWRL season, he went on the 1990 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France but was dropped after one Test.
Injury affected Cartwright in 1991, and he was used as a reserve in two of the three Tests against New Zealand. Following the 1991 grand final victory he travelled with the Panthers to England for the 1991 World Club Challenge which was lost to Wigan.
Despite the troubles partner Geyer was having off the field and his eventual departure from Penrith, Cartwright had his finest season of all in 1992. During the 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand, he helped Australia retain The Ashes. He played in all three games for New South Wales (scoring a rare try in the third) and took over the Penrith captaincy when Greg Alexander was injured. He was praised at the end of a turbulent year for holding the Panthers together on and off the field.
However, 1993 was almost wiped out by a shoulder injury and a number of lesser injuries in the following two years prevented Cartwright from breaking back into representative rugby league. At the end of 1996 he left Penrith to play in England.
After he finally retired as a player, Cartwright became an assistant coach at the Panthers and the Sydney Roosters. In 2000 he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in rugby league.
John Cartwright began coaching at Penrith as the reserve coach in 2001. He was John Lang's assistant coach when the Panthers took out the 2003 NRL Premiership. After a period as assistant to Ricky Stuart at the Sydney Roosters, as well as coaching the United States national rugby league team against the Kangaroos in 2004, Cartwright was appointed the inaugural coach of the Gold Coast Titans after their admission to the National Rugby League.
He became involved in a feud with Melbourne Storm winger Steve Turner over contractual obligations. "We flew him up, showed him around for two or three days and he agreed to me that he would come here, we shook hands. He looked me in the eye. The deal was done. He even started looking for accommodation. I only coached him in a couple of games at Penrith and my reaction has been the same as it would be for any player in this situation. But to do what he has done . . . I'm not happy. I'm extremely disappointed, to say the least." 
In 2009 he was selected to coach the NSW Country Origin side.
- Whiticker, Alan and Hudson, Glen (2007). The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players. Wetherill Park, New South Wales: Gary Allen Pty Ltd. p. 609. ISBN 978-1-877082-93-1.
- John Macdonald (16 May 1989). "Cartwright gets his big chance". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- "SportingPulse Homepage for Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League". SportingPulse. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
- "Buy, buy American Pie". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2004-11-28.
- Daly, Mick (2006-12-09). "Coach riled by Turner backflip". Fox Sports News (Australia). Retrieved 2008-01-18.
|Gold Coast Titans coach