Des Hasler

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Des Hasler
Personal information
Full nameDesmond John Hasler
Born (1961-02-16) 16 February 1961 (age 62)
Gosford, New South Wales, Australia
Height176 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight79 kg (12 st 6 lb)
Playing information
PositionHalfback, Lock, Hooker
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1982–83 Penrith Panthers 12 5 0 0 20
1984–93 Manly Sea Eagles 209 66 0 0 264
1993–94 Hull F.C. 23 10 0 0 40
1995–96 Manly Sea Eagles 47 6 1 0 26
1997 Western Suburbs 21 6 0 0 24
Total 312 93 1 0 374
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1985–92 NSW City 8 1 0 0 4
1985–91 New South Wales 12 2 0 0 8
1985–91 Australia 12 2 0 0 8
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
2004–11 Manly Sea Eagles 206 122 0 84 59
2012–17 Canterbury Bulldogs 155 88 0 67 57
2019–22 Manly Sea Eagles 97 48 0 49 49
2024– Gold Coast Titans 0 0 0 0
Total 458 258 0 200 56
Source: [1][2]
As of 4 July 2022

Desmond John Hasler[3] (born 16 February 1961) is an Australian professional rugby league coach, and a former professional rugby league footballer who played as halfback, lock and hooker.

He initially played for the Penrith Panthers, and then spent most of his playing career with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, with whom he won premierships in 1987 and 1996. Hasler spent a season with Hull F.C. in England, returning to Manly, before finishing his playing career with the Western Suburbs Magpies. He also played for NSW City, New South Wales in State of Origin and Australia at international level.

Hasler coached Manly between 2004 and 2011, winning a further two premierships in 2008 and 2011. He coached the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the National Rugby League, before returning to Manly as coach from 2019 until he was sensationally sacked at the end of the 2022 season. On 22 June 2023, the Gold Coast Titans announced Hasler would replace Justin Holbrook as head coach for the 2024 NRL season.

Early life[edit]

Hasler was born in Gosford, New South Wales. He played his junior footy at Cambridge Park and Brothers Penrith.[4] He attended St Dominic's College, Penrith.

Playing career[edit]

Hasler began his first-grade career with the Penrith Panthers in 1982, but quickly transferred to the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Hasler's contact with Manly came by chance.

After having played only 12 games for the Penrith club in 1982 and 1983, Bob Fulton, on the lookout for a halfback due to not being satisfied with the play of Phil Blake, offered Hasler a trial at Manly and signed him to play for the Sea Eagles in 1984.

Hasler made his debut for Australia in the third test of the 1985 Trans-Tasman Test series against New Zealand at Carlaw Park in Auckland, coming into the team at the expense of Queensland halfback Mark Murray. Unfortunately his debut was soured with the Kiwis defeating Australia 18–0.

Hasler's value as a utility player led to his frequent selection on the bench in representative football. He played 13 State of Origin matches for New South Wales (seven from the bench, three at halfback, two at five-eighth and 1 at lock), scoring two tries during these games. His biography, The Utility Player, was written by prominent Australian author and Manly Warringah fan Thomas Keneally and was published in 1993.[5]

Hasler also played in twelve test and World Cup matches for Australia between 1985 and 1991, with his utility value seeing him start nine of those games from the bench.

After the 1993 season, Hasler spent the off-season playing for Hull F.C. in the English Rugby League Premiership. He later returned to the Manly club for the 1995 and 1996 ARL seasons. Hasler had a new role for the season playing mostly at hooker. Although starting the 1996 season as the teams hooker, the signing of 1994 Kangaroo tour hooker Jim Serdaris saw Hasler play most of the season from the bench for the Manly Warringah side. The team had another great year, winning their second straight minor premiership before going on to defeat St. George 20–8 in the grand final at the Sydney Football Stadium, giving Hasler his second and last premiership win as a player.

After 257 games for the Manly club over 12 seasons, Manly did not offer Hasler a contract beyond 1996. Feeling he still had something to offer Hasler then signed with the Western Suburbs Magpies for the 1997 season. He played 21 games for Western Suburbs alternating between halfback, lock, hooker and the bench, before retiring at the end of the season.

Coaching career[edit]

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles[edit]

In 2004, Des Hasler was appointed head coach of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. In the 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons he led the team to the semi-finals for the first time since the late 1990s. Hasler gained the experience of Geoff Toovey as assistant coach in the 2007 season. The team was a contender in the 2007 National Rugby League premiership, and finished second on the NRL ladder, losing the grand final 34–8 to the Melbourne Storm.

He coached Manly to a record-breaking 40–0 2008 NRL Grand Final victory over the Melbourne Storm.[6]

In 2008, Hasler was named the Rugby League International Federation's Coach of the Year at the RLIF Awards.[7]

After failing to win the 1987 World Club Challenge with Manly as a player, he won it with them as coach in 2009.

Hasler took Manly to the finals again in 2009 and 2010, but lost a final in each year to be eliminated from the finals.

He coached his 200th first-grade game on 13 August 2011 when Manly defeated their traditional rivals Parramatta 26–20 at Parramatta Stadium. The win was also Hasler's 117th win as a coach.

In 2011, Manly finished second on the NRL ladder. Manly defeated North Queensland 42–8 at the Sydney Football Stadium for their first finals win since 2008. Manly went on to win the 2011 NRL Grand Final. He was named coach of the year at the RLIF Awards.[8]

A week after leading Manly to the 2011 premiership, Hasler signed to coach the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the 2013 season.[9] He initially agreed to continue to coach Manly for the 2012 season, but on 11 November 2011, Manly's board of directors sacked him, alleging "serious breaches" of his contract with rumours rife of the breaches including enticing staff and players to join him at the Bulldogs from 2013. A number of Manly's coaching and administrative employees had announced they would be joining Hasler at Canterbury.[10]

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs[edit]

Hasler and his Bulldogs assistant coach Jim Dymock in 2015

Hasler joined Canterbury on 14 November 2011 as head coach for the 2012 NRL season.[11] He had immediate success as he took the club to finish eight places better than the previous season to the top of the ladder and collected the minor premiership. After impressive qualifying final and preliminary final wins, 16–10 over former club Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and 32–8 over South Sydney Rabbitohs, respectively, the club were beaten in the Grand Final by the Melbourne Storm 14–4.[12] At the 2012 Dally M Awards Hasler was named the NRL's coach of the year.[13]

In the 2014 NRL season, Hasler led Canterbury to the 2014 NRL Grand Final, and lost 30–6 to South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

In the 2016 NRL season, Canterbury finished two places lower than the previous season as they finished in seventh place, the same position they managed to reach the Grand Final from two years earlier, but those hopes of a 2014 repeat were crushed in the qualifying elimination final where the Bulldogs after leading 6–4 at half-time but suffered a 28–12 defeat by the Penrith Panthers at the Sydney Football Stadium after which, straight away, Canterbury bowed out of the finals series.

On 19 September 2017, it was announced by the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs that Hasler had been released. On 1 December 2017, it was announced that Hasler was taking Canterbury to court and was seeking $2 million in damages after he was terminated by the club despite signing a two-year contract extension earlier in the season.[14]

On 4 May 2018, Hasler and Canterbury-Bankstown reached an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed sum of money. Canterbury issued a statement saying "After a great deal of discussion over the last couple of months, the Bulldogs are pleased to have reached an agreement with Des Hasler. It was important for the club to be able to bring this matter to a close and move forward. Our members and fans deserve that."[15]

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles[edit]

Hasler on duty with Manly in 2021

On 22 October 2018, Hasler was announced as the new head coach of Manly for the 2019 season.[16] Before the start of the 2019 NRL season, many predicted that Manly would finish outside the top 8 and struggle towards the bottom of the table. Throughout the season, though, Manly surprised many critics by spending nearly the entire regular season in the top 8 which included the club defeating Melbourne at AAMI Park 11–10 in golden point extra-time and also defeating other premiership contenders Canberra twice throughout the year. Hasler eventually guided Manly Warringah to a sixth-place finish as the club qualified for the finals.[17][18]

Hasler guided Manly to the second week of the finals series in 2019 as the club were defeated by South Sydney 34–26 in the elimination semi-final at ANZ Stadium.[19][20]

In the 2020 NRL season, Hasler failed to guide Manly to the finals as they finished a disappointing 13th on the table. The 2021 NRL season started in similar fashion with the club losing their opening three games. In round 4, Manly were defeated 46–6 against Penrith at Brookvale Oval; this was Manly's biggest-ever loss at their home ground in their 74-year history. Manly under Hasler then went on to win their next 16 of 21 games to finish in the top 4 and qualify for the finals. Manly went on to reach the preliminary final but were defeated by South Sydney.[21] In the 2022 NRL season, Manly endured a poor season finishing 11th on the table. On 13 October 2022, Hasler was terminated as Manly head coach.[22]

Gold Coast Titans[edit]

On 22 June 2023, Hasler was announced as the new head coach of the Gold Coast Titans, commencing in 2024.[23]


Des Hasler – coaching results by season
Team Year Games Wins Draws Losses Win % Finals
MAN 2004 24 9 0 15 38% Finished 13th (out of 15)
MAN 2005 25 12 0 13 48% Lost 2005 NRL Qualifying Final against Parramatta Eels 22–46
MAN 2006 26 14 0 12 54% Lost 2006 NRL Semi-Final against St George Illawarra Dragons 0–28
MAN 2007 27 20 0 7 74% Lost 2007 NRL Grand Final against Melbourne Storm 8–34
MAN 2008 27 20 0 7 74% Won 2008 NRL Grand Final against Melbourne Storm 40–0
MAN 2009 25 14 0 11 56% Lost 2009 NRL Qualifying Final against Melbourne Storm 12–40
MAN 2010 25 12 0 13 48% Lost 2010 NRL Qualifying Final against St George Illawarra Dragons 0–28
MAN 2011 27 21 0 6 78% Won 2011 NRL Grand Final against New Zealand Warriors 24–10
BUL 2012 27 20 0 7 74% Lost 2012 NRL Grand Final against Melbourne Storm 4–14
BUL 2013 25 13 0 12 52% Lost 2013 NRL Elimination Final against Newcastle Knights 6–22
BUL 2014 28 16 0 12 57% Lost 2014 NRL Grand Final against South Sydney Rabbitohs 6–30
BUL 2015 26 15 0 11 58% Lost 2015 NRL Semi-Final against Sydney Roosters 12–38
BUL 2016 25 14 0 11 56% Lost 2016 NRL Elimination Final against Penrith Panthers 12–28
BUL 2017 24 10 0 14 42% Finished 11th (out of 16)
BUL 155 88 0 62 59%
MAN 2019 26 15 0 11 58% Lost 2019 NRL Semi-Final against South Sydney Rabbitohs 26–34
MAN 2020 20 7 0 13 35% Finished 13th (out of 16)
MAN 2021 27 17 0 10 64% Lost 2021 NRL Preliminary Final against South Sydney Rabbitohs 36–16
MAN 2022 24 9 0 15 37.5% Finished 11th (out of 16)
MAN 303 170 0 133 56.1%
Career 458 258 0 200 56.3%


As a player[edit]

NSWRFL/ARL Minor Premiership (3): 1987, 1995, 1996

NSWRFL/ARL Premiership (2): 1987, 1996

As a coach[edit]

NRL Premiership (2): 2008, 2011

NRL Minor Premiership (1): 2012


  1. ^ Rugby League Project (player)
  2. ^ Rugby League Project (coach)
  3. ^ "Des Hasler: Kooky, mad and perfect for Manly". The Roar. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  4. ^ "About Us – Brothers Penrith Junior Rugby League Club Inc". Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  5. ^ Headon, David (October 1999). "Up From the Ashes: The Phoenix of a Rugby League Literature" (PDF). Football Studies Volume 2, Issue 2. Football Studies Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  6. ^ "Grand final: As it happened". Fox Sports. 5 October 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
  7. ^ AAP (2008) Fox Sports:,20797,24666942-5016947,00.html?from=public_rss[dead link]
  8. ^ "Slater scoops player award". Sky Sports. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Canterbury confirm Hasler appointment". Sydney Morning Herald. 8 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  10. ^ Prichard, Greg; Chamas, Michael (10 November 2011). "Desi-mation: Manly stand down dual premiership-winning coach after move". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  11. ^ McDonald, Margie (14 November 2011). "Des Hasler never contemplated a clean-out at the Bulldogs". The Australian.
  12. ^ "Melbourne Storm beat Canterbury Bulldogs in 2012 NRL grand final". News Corp Australia Network. 30 September 2012.
  13. ^ News Limited (4 September 2012). "All the Dally M winners plus galleries". Herald Sun. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  14. ^ "Former Bulldogs coach des Hasler seeks $2 million in damages, court told". December 2017.
  15. ^ "Bulldogs reach settlement with des Hasler over contract stoush". 4 May 2018.
  16. ^ "What about Trent Barrett? Five burning questions for des Hasler's Sea Eagles". 22 October 2018.
  17. ^ "It's not about this old fossil Des Hasler and the rebirth of Manly". SMH. 30 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Manly's home final against the Sharks could be moved after asbestos discovered". 8 September 2019.
  19. ^ "South Sydney Rabbitohs beat Manly Sea Eagles 34-26 in NRL semi-final". ABC News. 20 September 2019.
  20. ^ "Rabbitohs dig deep to eliminate Sea Eagles in finals thriller". NRL. 20 September 2019.
  21. ^ "Kikau, Luai star as Panthers bury Manly at Lottoland". April 2021.
  22. ^ "'Sort this joint out': Legends' warning for Seibold after Manly's 'ridiculous' Hasler spat".
  23. ^ "Club statement: Head coach update". Gold Coast Titans. 22 June 2023. Retrieved 22 June 2023.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Trent Barrett

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

Succeeded by
Anthony Seibold
Preceded by
Jim Dymock

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Succeeded by
Dean Pay
Preceded by Coach

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

Succeeded by
Geoff Toovey