Craig Coleman

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Craig Coleman
Craig Coleman.jpg
Personal information
Nickname Tugger
Born (1963-01-31) 31 January 1963 (age 54)
Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Position Halfback
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1982–92 South Sydney Rabbitohs 216 25 0 8 108
1986–87 Widnes 3 5
1988–89 Hull F.C. 24 14
1989–90 Leeds 17 14
1992–93 Salford 28 28
1994–95 Gold Coast Seagulls 44 4 0 0 16
1996 Western Suburbs Magpies 16 1 0 0 4
Total 348 30 0 8 189
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1998–99 South Sydney Rabbitohs 48 15 0 33 31
2002 South Sydney Rabbitohs 24 5 0 19 21
Total 72 20 0 52 28
Source: RLP

Craig Coleman (born 31 January 1963) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer and coach. He primarily played at halfback and remains fourth on the list of most first-grade games played for Souths, 208.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Coleman was graded to South Sydney as a seventeen-year-old in 1980. In 1981 he played in the under-23 side coached by Brian Smith which lost only two games in the season and won the Grand Final at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

He made his first-grade début for the Rabbitohs in round 22 of the 1982 season, playing at halfback against Peter Sterling and the Parramatta Eels at Redfern Oval.

During his eleven seasons with the Rabbitohs, Coleman spent three off-seasons playing in England - Widnes, Hull F.C. and Leeds. After he was released by Souths at the end of the 1992 season, he played a fourth off-season in England, for Salford [2] [3].

Due to his late return to Australia (after the 1 February signing deadline), Coleman was unable to sign with the Gold Coast for the 1993 season. He threatened to take the Australian Rugby League to court when he was denied the clearance but spent the year playing park football for the Coogee Wombats in Souths' A-grade competition. He was back in first grade in 1994 with the Gold Coast Seagulls and finished his first-grade career playing one season for the Western Suburbs Magpies in 1996 under coach, Tommy Raudonikis [4].

Coaching career[edit]

Coleman returned to the Rabbitohs as a reserve-grade coach and took over from Steve Martin as first-grade coach in round 19 of the 1998 season.[5]

In 2000, the Rabbitohs were excluded from the National Rugby League competition. Coleman, while working as a baggage handler for Ansett, joined the fight to have the club included in the competition.[6] On the club's return in the 2002 season, Coleman was once again head coach but after a poor season the South Sydney board considered his position in late September. A split decision opted to retain Coleman as coach but revised the coaching staff, appointing Phil Blake (former Souths utility player) as the club's new coaching coordinator with Paul Langmack appointed as defensive coach.[7] Five months later and only eleven days before the official start of the 2003 season, Coleman was sacked by the club after a series of losses in the pre-season trials.[8][9] Under his coaching, the Rabbitohs won 17 of 54 games (31%) over three playing seasons.[10] 1999 was the most successful of Coleman's coaching seasons in NRL, with the Rabbitohs narrowly missing the semi finals.



  1. ^ "South Sydney factbox" (Fee required). AAP Sports News (Australia). 1999-10-14. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Factbox on careers of Andrew Farrar and Craig Coleman" (Fee required). AAP Sports News (Australia). 2002-08-14. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  6. ^ "Souths factbox" (Fee required). AAP Sports News (Australia). 2002-03-09. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  7. ^ "Coleman hangs on" (Fee required). AAP Sports News (Australia). 2002-09-26. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  8. ^ "Rabbitohs axe Langmack". ABC News. 2004-06-02. Retrieved 2008-07-27. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Sacked Coleman bitter as Blake takes interim role" (Fee required). AAP Sports News (Australia). 2003-03-03. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  10. ^ "Craig Coleman Coaching Stats". Sports Data. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Steve Martin
South Sydney Rabbitohs

Succeeded by
Paul Langmack