Kear in 2007
|Nickname||Le Professeur, JK|
25 November 1954 |
Castleford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
|Position||Wing, Centre, Fullback|
Source: Rugby League Project
John Kear (born 25 November 1954 in Castleford, West Riding of Yorkshire) is an English rugby league coach and former player. He is best known as a coach for his Challenge Cup successes with Sheffield Eagles in 1998 and Hull F.C. in 2005, as well as his time coaching Wakefield Trinity in the late 2000s. As a player, he played on the Wing or in the Centre position for Castleford. He is currently the head coach of Batley and the Wales national rugby league team, while also working as a pundit for BBC Sport.
County Cup Final appearances
John Kear played as a Left-Wing, i.e. number 5, in Castleford's 2-13 defeat by Hull F.C. in the 1983 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1983–84 season at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday 15 October 1983.
After stints working as a conditioner for Castleford, as head coach of Bramley (1992), working in the player performance department of the Rugby Football League, head coach of Paris St Germain and assistant coach to both England, and Great Britain, he took over the coaching reins at Sheffield Eagles in 1997, taking them to the Premiership semi-final in that year. A year later he was the coach who led Sheffield Eagles to a Challenge Cup final victory over Wigan; this triumph is believed by many[who?] to be the greatest shock in Challenge Cup history.
He left Wigan for the first team coach role at Hull, working with Shaun McRae. He stepped up to first team coach at Hull in 2005 when predecessor Shaun McRae left to take charge of South Sydney Rabbitohs. He led the club to victory over Leeds, by a 25-24 scoreline in the 2005 Challenge Cup in his first season. However, in April 2006 he was sacked by Hull and took charge of Wakefield Trinity in July 2006 where he steered the team clear of relegation with four wins from the last six matches of the season, culminating in the great escape and condemning Castleford to relegation to National League 1.
In 2007 he fielded a predominantly untried squad and led Trinity to 8th position in the Super League, their second highest Super League finish.
In 2009 Kear led Wakefield Trinity to 5th position, their highest ever Super League finish. The team were knocked out of the first round of the play-offs by Catalans Dragons.
In 2011 Kear left Wakefield Trinity to become head coach of Batley.
On 16 July 2014 Kear succeeded Iestyn Harris as head coach of Wales, a role he will undertake alongside his position at Batley. His first game was against Scotland in the 2014 European Cup. He lost the opening game by a score of 42-18 in horrible weather conditions. After a horrible[clarification needed] 2014 European Cup event, his more 'strengthened' Welsh team took on Scotland again in the opening match of the 2015 Tournament. John's team earned their first ever victory after a spree of 12 consecutive defeats which began back in 2011. Wales went on to be unbeaten in the tournament resulting in them winning their first European Cup tournament since 2010. The following year, he was required to make Wales qualify for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup via the European qualifiers. In the opening game at Llanelli, Wales thrashed Serbia by 50 points.
- "Fiji send warning to Kear's troops (03.11.2000)". ThisIsLondon.co.uk. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- "Coaches and Captains". hullfc.com. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- "BBC SPORT - Rugby League - Super League - Hull - Kear makes swift Hull departure". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- "John Kear replaces Iestyn Harris as Wales coach". DailyMail.co.uk. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- "Brough leads Scotland to victory over Wales". WalesRugbyLeague.co.uk. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
- "WALES 18 SCOTLAND 12". WALES RUGBY LEAGUE. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "European Championship: Wales beat Ireland to win title". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 November 2015.