John Muggleton

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John Muggleton
Personal information
Full nameJohn Muggleton
Born (1960-01-16) 16 January 1960 (age 64)
Playing information
Height185 cm (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Weight86 kg (13 st 8 lb)[1]
PositionSecond-row, Centre
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1979 Balmain Tigers 6 1 0 0 3
1980–89 Parramatta Eels 114 12 48 2 139
Total 120 13 48 2 142
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1982 New South Wales 2 0 0 0 0
1982 Australia 3 1 0 0 3
Source: [2][3]

John Muggleton (born 16 January 1960) is an Australian former rugby league footballer who represented the Parramatta Eels in the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, New South Wales in State of Origin competition and the Australian national team (1982).

Playing career[edit]

Muggleton originally played junior rugby union with Dundas Valley before switching to rugby league at the age of 16 to play for Ryde District Devils, in the Balmain junior competition.[4]

Muggleton was initially graded as a fullback with Balmain, but moved to Parramatta in 1980 and the following year, jumped suddenly into first grade just as the Eels won their first premiership.

1982 saw Muggleton become as a second rower an integral part of Parramatta's most dominant NRL team, providing a second kicker to support Peter Sterling, who was later to become his brother-in-law, and showing abundant ball skills to create opportunities for a famous backline of Sterling, Brett Kenny, Mick Cronin, Steve Ella and Eric Grothe, Sr. Muggleton was chosen for the 1982 Kangaroo Tour, which became known as “The Invincibles” as it steamrolled through England and France to win all 22 games, the first time the Aussies had gone through a Kangaroo Tour undefeated.

However, after that, Muggleton had a great deal of trouble retaining his place during a succession of injuries and much competition from Mark Laurie, Peter Wynn and Steve Sharp in Parramatta's second row.

By 1984, he was used chiefly as a reserve, and in 1984–85 Muggleton had a spell in the UK playing for Hull FC, alongside Sterling, in the then Rugby League First Division. John Muggleton played left-second-row, i.e. number 11, in Hull FC's 24—28 defeat by Wigan in the 1985 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 4 May 1985, in front of a crowd of 99,801,[5] in what is regarded as the most marvellous cup final in living memory,[6] which Hull narrowly lost after fighting back from 12—28 down at half-time. In the 1985 NSWRL season, Muggleton after returning from England in May played all but one match for Parramatta in reserve grade.[7] However, with his past experience in the centres, Muggleton was recalled in early 1986 when regular centres Cronin and Ella were injured.[7] Developing as a goalkicker, Muggleton was able to keep his first grade berth and re-establish himself firmly in 1987 with the retirement of long-standing lock Ray Price. A highlight that season was a booming field goal to beat St. George 21 points to 20 with the last kick of the day. However, in 1988 Muggleton was again out of favour and suffered two broken jaws,[8] with the result that in his last two seasons he would start only two first grade matches.

Coaching career[edit]

After this, Muggleton turned to coaching, being most successful with North Sydney's struggling President's Cup outfit in 1993 where he lifted them from twelfth to sixth.[citation needed]

Muggleton was the defence coach with the Melbourne Rebels in the Super Rugby competition, serving from 2011 to 2013.[9][10][11][12][13] Muggleton left the Rebels at the end of the season. His last game as the defence coach of the Rebels was a home game against New Zealand franchise the Highlanders, a match that also turned out to be the last Rebels match for head coach Damien Hill and players James O'Connor, Gareth Delve, Cooper Vuna, Ged Robinson, Nick Phipps and Nic Henderson. In front of over 12,000 spectators, the Rebels overcame a 24-point half-time deficit to achieve a remarkable 38-37 come-from-behind victory over the Highlanders, ending Muggleton's tenure as a Rebels assistant coach on a winning note.[14][15]

He coached Georgia at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.[9][16] And, prior to that he was the defensive coach of the Llanelli Scarlets in south-west Wales.[17][18]

On 25 July 2014, Muggleton became the new Defence Coach for English rugby club Gloucester Rugby who compete in the Aviva Premiership[19]

Muggleton has been the defence coach at the Parramatta Two Blues Rugby Club since November 2015[20]


  1. ^ a b See ‘Grothe In Fight to Get Fit; Atkins Stands By for Parramatta’; Sydney Morning Herald, 25 September 1982, p. 54
  2. ^ Rugby League Project
  3. ^ Yesterday's Hero
  4. ^ "John Muggleton / Brad Harrington info".
  5. ^ "1984–1985 Challenge Cup Final". 31 December 2011. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  6. ^ "100 years of rugby league: From the great divide to the Super era". The Independent. 20 August 1995. Archived from the original on 13 June 2022. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b .Clarkson, Alan (5 April 1986). "Monie Grooms Muggleton in Case Cronin Is Finished". Sydney Morning Herald.
  8. ^ Middleton, David (14 December 1989). Rugby League 1988-89. Lester-Townsend. p. 73. ISBN 0949853194.
  9. ^ a b "Muggleton Joins Rebels" (Press release). Melbourne Rebels. 8 September 2011. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Rebels announce coaching structure" (Press release). Melbourne Rebels. 21 October 2011. Archived from the original on 31 October 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Preparation the key for Muggleton" (Press release). Melbourne Rebels. 21 October 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  12. ^ "Melbourne Rebels defence no longer a weakness". Daily Telegraph. News Limited. AAP. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  13. ^ Muggleton, John (29 February 2012). "Changing defensive habits takes time" (Press release). Melbourne Rebels. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  14. ^ "Rebels Farewell Departing Stars with Incredible Comeback". Archived from the original on 16 July 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Motorsport Video |Motorsport Highlights, Replays, News, Clips".
  16. ^ Rugby News (5 September 2011). "Georgia get warm welcome in cold south" (Press release). International Rugby Board. Retrieved 1 March 2012.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Aussie coach to add steel to Scarlet defence". Western Mail. Media Wales. 5 August 2008. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  18. ^ Griffiths, Gareth (21 April 2010). "Muggleton exit is amicable". Western Mail. Media Wales. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  19. ^ "John Muggleton becomes new Defence Coach with Gloucester". Sky Sports. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  20. ^}[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]