|Kearney in 2008|
|Full name||Stephen Peter Kearney|
11 June 1972 |
Paraparaumu, Wellington, New Zealand
|Height||191 cm (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||103 kg (16 st 3 lb)|
|Source: Rugby League Project|
Stephen Peter Kearney, ONZM (born 11 June 1972) is a professional rugby league football coach and former player. He is the head coach of the New Zealand national rugby league team and is also an assistant coach at the Brisbane Broncos. Kearney was previously the head coach of the Parramatta Eels in the NRL, before he was sacked due to poor results. As a player he spent most of his career, which spanned from the early '90s to the mid-2000s and included an NRL premiership and a Challenge Cup win as well as time spent as the captain of the New Zealand team, in the second row position.
A Kapiti Bears junior, Kearney played for the Junior Kiwis between 1989 and 1991, becoming the side's captain for the 1991 series against Great Britain. He made his senior debut in 1991 for the Randwick Kingfishers and also played for Wellington that year. Randwick lost the Wellington Rugby League Grand Final 6-14 to the Wainuiomata Lions.
Turning professional he moved to Australia to play for the Western Suburbs Magpies in 1992 in what is now the NSWRL Premiership. In 1993 he became the New Zealand Kiwis's youngest test captain, aged 21. He left the Magpies at the end of 1994, returning home to play for the Auckland Warriors in their inaugural season. At the end of that season he traveled to England to represent New Zealand in the 1995 World Cup. He missed the first test match against a re-unified Australian team in 1998 due to suspension. Kearney remained a Warrior until 1998, when he moved to Australia to join the Melbourne Storm. In the Melbourne club's second ever season Kearney played at second-row forward in their victory in the 1999 NRL Grand Final. Kearney was selected for the New Zealand team to compete in the end of season 1999 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against Australia he played at second-row forward in the Kiwis' 22-20 loss.
Having won the 1999 Premiership, the Melbourne Storm traveled to England to contest the 2000 World Club Challenge against Super League Champions St Helens RLFC, with Kearney playing at second-row forward in the victory. In 2002 Kearney missed the series-deciding match against Great Britain as he had to rush back home to Melbourne to be with his sick five-year-old daughter, who needed emergency surgery. While captaining the Storm in 2004, Kearney became the first New Zealand footballer to play 250 Australian first-grade matches. He also played his last test match for the Kiwis in 2004, in a game that marked the debut of Sonny Bill Williams. Kearney finished his playing career with English club Hull in Europe's Super League competition, playing in their 2005 Challenge Cup-winning side.
In 2006 Kearney retired and returned to Australia to take up a role as assistant coach at his old club, the Melbourne Storm, under Craig Bellamy. In 2008 Kearney was appointed as the New Zealand Kiwis' head coach on a two-year contract.
Kearney (with assistant Wayne Bennett) coached the Kiwis to their first World Cup series win. On 22 November 2008, they defeated Australia 34–20 in the final, at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Following this achievement, he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday honours list. For the 2010 Anzac Test, Kearney coached New Zealand in their loss against Australia. In the 2010 post-season Kearney was announced as Daniel Anderson's replacement as head coach of the Parramatta Eels for three years beginning in 2011. Shortly after that, he took the Kiwis to victory in the 2010 Four Nations final against Australia.
In 2011 he failed to coach the Parramatta NRL team to any success, with the Eels achieving just 6 wins and 1 draw in 24 matches, and only just missing out on the wooden spoon when they beat the Gold Coast Titans in the last game of the regular season.
Things didn't get any better for Kearney in the 2012 NRL season. With the Eels struggling in last place on the NRL ladder after 16 rounds, Melbourne Storm's inaugural coach, and two time premiership winning coach Chris Anderson was appointed as a mentor to Stephen Kearney to help him turn the club's fortunes around. However this did not eventuate as Kearney was eventually forced to resign only three rounds later on 20 July, after achieving only 3 wins from 19 matches in the season. He left the Eels with just 10 wins from 42 matches, for a modest winning percentage of 24 percent.
In October 2012 Kearney signed 2 years as Brisbane Broncos assistant coach from 2013.
In November 2014, Kearney guided New Zealand to their second Four Nations championship, defeating Australia 22-18 in the final.
At the end of 2015, his 23 test wins as coach and five wins over Australia is the most out of any that has coached New Zealand in the past.
Kiwis Coaching Record
|Opponent||Played||Won||Drew||Loss||Win Ratio (%)|
|Papua New Guinea||3||3||0||0||100|
|Four Nations record|
|England/France 2009||Third place||3/4||3||1||1||1|
|Australia/New Zealand 2010||Champions||1/4||4||3||1||0|
|England/Wales 2011||Third place||3/4||3||1||2||0|
|Australia/New Zealand 2014||Champions||1/4||4||4||0||0|
|World Cup record|
|England/France/Ireland/Wales 2013||Second place||2/14||6||5||1||0|
|2008 Anzac Test||Second Place||2/2||1||0||1||0|
|2009 Anzac Test||Second Place||2/2||1||0||1||0|
|2010 Anzac Test||Second Place||2/2||1||1||1||0|
|2011 Anzac Test||Second Place||2/2||1||0||1||0|
|2012 Anzac Test||Second Place||2/2||1||0||1||0|
|2013 Anzac Test||Second Place||2/2||1||0||1||0|
|2014 Anzac Test||Second Place||2/2||1||0||1||0|
|2015 Anzac Test||Winners||1/2||1||1||0||0|
|2016 Anzac Test||Runners up||2/2||1||0||1||0|
|Baskerville Shield record|
|Other Test matches|
Overall (Representative) Record
As of 14 May 2016
- Team of Century Week 8 Wellington Rugby League
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- Sterling, Peter (23 April 1998). "Out of this world". Newcastle Herald (Fairfax Digital). p. 3. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
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- "League: King Kearney looks to build lasting Kiwis empire". nzherald.co.nz. 2015-11-22. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
- Kiwis Coach One of Three New Legends of League Named nzrl.co.nz, 30 October 2012
- Kiwi Player Profiles: Stephen Kearney
- Stephen Kearney Player Profile at Hull
- Article on Kapiti Bears website: Stephen Kearney - a role model for young Rugby League players.
New Zealand Kiwis