Wayne Pearce

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Wayne Pearce
Personal information
Full name Wayne John Pearce
Nickname Junior
Born (1960-03-29) 29 March 1960 (age 56)
Balmain, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 89 kg (14 st 0 lb)
Position Lock, Second-row
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1980–90 Balmain Tigers 193 33 0 0 123
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1983–88 New South Wales 16 3 0 0 12
1982–88 Australia 19 6 0 0 21
Coaching information
Club
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1994–99 Balmain Tigers 158 55 1 101 35
2000 Wests Tigers 26 11 2 13 42
Total 184 66 3 114 36
Representative
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1999–01 New South Wales 9 5 1 3 56

Wayne John Pearce OAM (born 29 March 1960 in Balmain, New South Wales) is an Australian former rugby league footballer and coach. An athletic lock forward for the Balmain Tigers, he was affectionately known as 'Junior'. Pearce represented New South Wales in the State of Origin Series as well as the Australian national rugby league team.

Pearce was captain of the Balmain Tigers rugby league club from 1982–1990. A local junior from the Balmain Police Boys club, he made his debut in 1980 and was quickly marked as a future star.

Pearce's son, Mitchell is a half-back for the Sydney Roosters.

Captaincy[edit]

Pearce's captaincy proved critical in elevating Balmain from also-rans to a force of the 1980s, in concert with Steve Roach, Benny Elias and later Paul Sironen. Along with fullback Garry Jack, they drove Balmain to the semi-finals in 1983 and every year from 1985 to Pearce's retirement. Pearce won the Rothman's Medal for the best-and-fairest player in 1985.

In 1986 Pearce captained the New South Wales Blues to their first ever State of Origin clean-sweep, but in the following two years there was to be a rapid decline, with Queensland easily winning every match in 1988. After this, Pearce stood down from representative rugby league, despite pressure for him to return after Queensland won even more easily in 1989. In 1988 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia "for service to rugby league". Pearce was also the inaugural winner of the Ken Stephens Medal for Community Service by a Rugby League player.[citation needed]

Pearce also made an appearance the 1988 Australian television movie The First Kangaroos, which depicted the 1908–09 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain.[1]

Pearce captained the Balmain Tigers to two successive grand finals in 1988 and 1989, both of which they lost. In 1990, Pearce could not play a full match until the seventeenth round, but for the rest of the season he was at his best, seen clearly in the play-off for fifth with Newcastle, when he scored a crucial try from a bomb and carted the ball forward as fearlessly as ever. The following week, though, proved to be his last match as Balmain lost 0–16, sparking a major decline in the club's fortunes after Pearce's retirement.

Accolades[edit]

In February 2008, Pearce was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (1908–2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia.[2][3]

Post retirement[edit]

After 10 years as a rugby league commentator for Fox Sports, Pearce was appointed as one of the nine inaugural commissioners of the Australian Rugby League Commission at its reconstitution in February 2012. A motivational speaker, he continues to run his leadership and team performance consultancy Wayne Pearce Advantage.[4] He also fronts the rock cover band Wayne Pearce and the Big Hitters.[5] On Sunday 17 April 2016, before Wests Tigers Vs Melbourne Storm round 7, (16 Years after his retirement) the Hill surrounding Leichhardt Oval was named the Wayne Pearce Hill after him by the Leichhardt Municipal Council and the Wests Tigers Club.

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Robinson and Garrett Jones (8 June 1988). "Family fights to clear League Hero's Name". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia. p. 74. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Peter Cassidy (2008-02-23). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  3. ^ "Centenary of Rugby League – The Players". NRL & ARL. 2008-02-23. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  4. ^ John Robinson and Garrett Jones (8 June 1988). "Family fights to clear League Hero's Name". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia. p. 74. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  5. ^ Peter Cassidy (2008-02-23). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Alan Jones
1991–1993
Coach
Balmain Tigers

1994–1999
Succeeded by
Joint Venture
Preceded by
Joint Venture
Coach
Wests Tigers

2000
Succeeded by
Terry Lamb
2001–2002
Preceded by
Tommy Raudonikis
1997–1998
Coach
New South Wales
State of Origin

1999–2001
Succeeded by
Phil Gould
2002–2004