Les Kiss

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Les Kiss
Personal information
Born (1964-12-09) 9 December 1964 (age 50)
Playing information
Position Wing
Years Team Pld T G FG P
Fortitude Valley
1986–93 North Sydney Bears 100 29 38 0 192
Total 100 29 38 0 192
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1986–90 Queensland 4 3 0 0 12
1986 Australia 4 2 0 0 8
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1999 London Broncos 30 13 2 15 43
2014 Ulster Rugby 0 0 0 0
Total 30 13 2 15 43
Years Team Gms W D L W%
2013 Ireland 2 2 0 0 100
As of 2 April 2014
Source: RLP

Les Kiss (born 9 December 1964) is an Australian former professional rugby league player in the New South Wales Rugby League and a former rugby league coach. He is the currently Assistant Coach for the Ireland national rugby union team and Interim Director of Rugby at Ulster.

Playing career[edit]

Kiss was a Past Brothers junior[1] who went on to play 100 first grade games in the NSWRL Premiership for the North Sydney Bears between 1986 and 1993. A handy goalkicker, he had an injury-restricted career, and retired in 1993. Les Kiss' career is nostalgically linked with the Wendy Matthews song "Let's Kiss", which was released in 1990 at the height of his playing days at North Sydney.[citation needed]

Les Kiss scored only 29 tries for Norths in his 100 games but despite not being the fastest winger, and with a best haul of 9 tries in a season (1986), he was considered to be one of the best defensive wingers in the Sydney competition. He also kicked 38 goals from 64 attempts (59.38%) for the Bears with his best season again being his debut year (1986) when he kicked 23/38 at 60.53%.

Representative career[edit]

Les Kiss, originally from Queensland, first gained selection for The Maroons in Game 2 of the 1986 State of Origin series at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Playing on the wing, Kiss scored a try on debut in a losing side (NSW won the 1986 series 3-0) and he scored another in Game 3 at Lang Park.

Kiss was then selected to play for Australia in the second test against New Zealand at the Cricket Ground and retained his spot for the final game in Brisbane.

Kiss' good form continued for the Bears and he was an easy selection for the 1986 Kangaroo Tour. Before the actual tour got underway in England, the Australians played a test against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby. There Kiss scored his only two test tries in a 62-12 win. He was then selected for the first Ashes test against Great Britain at Old Trafford with the Aussie's winning 38-16 before an injury in a tour match against Halifax in the game following the first test put an end to his tour. His place in the test side was taken by speedy Qld and Manly-Warringah outside back Dale Shearer who's own form earned him a recall to the side (ironically it had been an injury to Shearer while playing for Manly after the first test against NZ earlier in the year which had seen Kiss called into the side). Kiss' injury restricted him to just 4 games on the Kangaroo Tour with his only try coming in the Kangaroos 26-18 win against Wigan at Central Park in the opening game of the tour. The 1986 Kangaroos would emulate the undefeated 1982 Kangaroo tour, with the 1986 squad earning themselves the nickname "The Unbeatables".

Les Kiss then had a wait of four years before he tasted representative football again. He was selected for games 1 and 2 of the 1990 Origin series. Queensland lost both games and Kiss was one of the players dropped for Game 3 (replaced by Willie Carne). In what turned out to be a brief representative career, Les Kiss played in 4 games for Queensland (all losses) and 4 games for Australia (all wins) scoring a total of 3 Origin and 2 Test tries.

In 2008, rugby league in Australia's centenary year, Kiss was named on the wing of the Bundaberg Rugby League's team of the century.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Kiss worked as an assistant rugby league coach for the London Broncos Super League club and then as joint head coach with former North Sydney team mate Tony Rea.

Rugby union[edit]

Kiss worked as a defence coach for the Springboks in South Africa in 2001–02,[3] and was an assistant coach with the New South Wales Waratahs from 2002 until 2008.[4]

Kiss was appointed defensive coach with the Ireland national rugby union team under head coach Declan Kidney in 2009, sharing in a triumphant Grand Slam victory that had eluded Ireland for 61 years in his first year in the job.[3] After Kidney's departure on 2 April 2013, Kiss became the head coach of the Irish team as an interim appointment for their 2013 summer tour to North America.[5] Kiss resumed his role as defence coach after the tour when Joe Schmidt took over late in 2013.[6] On 30 June 2014, Kiss became the interim director of rugby at Ulster, following the departures of Mark Anscombe and David Humphreys.


  1. ^ Les Kiss at Past Brothers RLFC website
  2. ^ "BRL Team of the Century named". sportingpulse.com. Bundaberg Rugby League Ltd. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Clients - Les Kiss". The Fordham Company. Archived from the original on 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  4. ^ "Waratahs Management - NSW Rugby". NSW Rugby. Archived from the original on 2008-02-20. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  5. ^ "Ireland turn their back on Declan Kidney". 2 April 2013. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Les Kiss confirms he will work under Joe Schmidt". independent.ie. 19 May 2013. Archived from the original on 2 April 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 

External links[edit]