A new Rugby League Coaches Association (RLCA) has been formed under Chairman, Kangaroos Coach Mal Meninga, and CEO Kelly Egan.
The Association aims to give coaches across the game a mechanism for support and professional development, commencing with the NRL fullt-ime coaching and pathways staff and eventually incorporating other levels.
The RLCA Board includes former NRL Head Coach Neil Henry, as well as sports lawyer Tim Fuller, government and public policy expert Stefanee Lovett, and public strategy and management executive Cynthia Gillespie.
CEO Kelly Egan, a former NRL assistant coach and General Manager of Football, said the Association would give a collective voice to coaches, as well as provide wellbeing support, professional support, and the opportunity for career development.
“Ultimately, the formation of this Association will only improve coaching across the entire code,” Mr Egan said.
“Clearly this is the start of a number of steps that will be an important support mechanism for the NRL coaching staff. But the long term goal of this Association is to go deeper in terms of its membership and assist coaches at all levels.”
Mr Egan said the RLCA would work with both the NRL (National Rugby League) and the RLPA (Rugby League Players Association) on matters relating to its members, as well as the Clubs in order to enhance the RLCA outcomes and opportunities.
“Across the game, this Association will provide opportunities for coaches to improve their skills, knowledge and capabilities via a range of professional development,” Mr Egan said.
“The response across coaching groups has been very positive, we realise there is an opportunity to create a legacy program for leaders so close to the game.
“Importantly, the background work of Trent Robinson, Neil Henry and a number of other Head Coaches have got us to this point, and that is certainly appreciated.
“Now that we have an Association, we can provide an effective avenue for conversations between the relevant governing bodies and their coaches, as well as increase the professionalism and fellowship within the coaching ranks for the growth the game.”
Mr Meninga is one of Rugby League’s most decorated figures. A Rugby League Immortal, he is currently the Australian Kangaroos Coach, having previously coached the Queensland Maroons and the Canberra Raiders. As a player, he was also captain of Canberra Raiders, the Queensland Maroons and the Kangaroos.
“This is an incredibly important step forward for coaches in the game and for coaching in general,” Mr Meninga said.
“There will be a unified voice for the coaches, which will only ensure Rugby League benefits.
“This concept has been driven by the likes of Trent Robinson and Neil Henry in recent years and it is great to see it has their strong backing and influence.”