Brian Melrose

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Brian Melrose
Birth name Brian Melrose
Date of birth (1963-05-09) 9 May 1963 (age 55)
Rugby union career
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1982–86, 1991–92, 1999
1987–90, 1993–96
Western Suburbs
Teams coached
Years Team
Greater Sydney Rams
Western Sydney Rams
Manly RUFC
West Harbour RFC

Brian "Billy" Melrose (born 9 May 1963) is an Australian professional rugby union coach and former player who played as a fly-half and inside centre. He was head coach of the Greater Sydney Rams for the inaugural season of Australia's National Rugby Championship in 2014.[1]

Family and early life[edit]

Brian Melrose grew up in Baulkham Hills in Sydney, as the third of four brothers who all played first-grade rugby.[2] His brother Tony Melrose is a former Wallaby who also played rugby league for Parramatta, Souths, Easts, Manly and New South Wales.[3]

Rugby career[edit]

Melrose played as a fly-half or centre in Sydney’s club rugby competition for Parramatta, Western Suburbs (now West Harbour), and Eastwood in the 1980s and 1990s.[2][4] He won the A.L. Vincent Trophy for the best and fairest player at Western Suburbs in 1994.[5] Melrose played 240 first-grade games between 1982 and 1999, returning to his first club Parramtta as first-grade captain-coach before retiring.[6]

Coaching career[edit]

Melrose was appointed as co-coach of the previously struggling West Harbour club in 2001,[6] and achieved an immediate improvement with the team reaching the play-offs in both 2001 and 2002.[7] He was named as the NSW Premier Rugby ‘Coach of the Year’ in 2002. Melrose was recruited by Manly RUFC as Head Coach for the 2003 season, and again improved his team's position (from 10th in 2002) to reach the play-offs in 2003 and 2004.[7]

He undertook a coaching study tour of the UK before joining the New South Wales Waratahs as attack and kicking coach for the 2005 season. It was the Waratahs' most successful Super Rugby season, making the grand final for the first time and following that up with another finals appearance in 2006.[7]

Melrose was appointed Head Coach of the Western Sydney Rams for the inaugural Australian Rugby Championship in 2007. With the youngest team in Australia, the Rams were tipped to finish in the bottom two on the ladder but instead claimed the minor premiership with a thrilling brand of rugby under Melrose.[7]

He was Head Coach of the Australia under 20s team which finished in fifth place at the 2008 IRB Junior World Championships,[7] and Head Coach of Eastwood in 2009.[8]

Melrose left for Ireland in 2010 to take up a contract as assistant coach with Connacht in the Pro12 competition. He was recruited to London Irish in 2011. Returning to Australia in 2013, he worked on his building business and worked with NRL club St George-Illawarra as a skills coach.[3]

The Greater Sydney Rams appointed Melrose as Head Coach for the 2014 season, renewing their association with the coach that took the Western Sydney Rams to the Minor Premiership in 2007.[1]


  1. ^ a b "The Rams are welcoming back Brian "Billy" Melrose as Head Coach in 2014". 4 May 2014. Archived from the original on 9 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Wilkins, Phil (7 August 1997). "A Place In Rugby Folklore For The Melrose Clan". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Archived from the original on 4 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Ritchie, Dean (11 April 2013). "Rugby man Brian Melrose laying the foundations for St George Illawarra's attack". The Daily Telegraph. News. Archived from the original on 9 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Webster, Jim (10 July 1987). "Melrose goes in search of his Rugby Shangri-La". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "2013 Annual Report". West Harbour Rugby. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF (1.1 MB)) on 14 January 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Wilkions, Phil (10 August 2001). "Pirates' Plea Fails In Game Of Snakes And Ladders". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Archived from the original on 25 April 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Guest Speakers: Brian Melrose". Entertain Oz. 2008. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "2009 Tooheys New Shute Shield: Round 1 Preview". New South Wales Waratahs. 27 March 2009. Archived from the original on 9 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.