Head Coach – Ewen McKenzie
Born in Melbourne on 21 June 1965 Ewen McKenzie has developed an impressive Rugby CV as both a player and a coach over the past 26 years.
Earning 51 Test caps as a Wallaby between 1990 and 1997 McKenzie was a member of the victorious 1991 Rugby World Cup winning side forming one of the most formidable front row combinations with Tony Daley and Phil Kearns. At state level he was capped 37 times for NSW between 1987 and 1995 and another 24 times for the Brumbies at Super Rugby level between 1996 and 1997, including an appearance in the Brumbies 1997 Super 12 final loss to the Blues.
Following his retirement from playing in 1997 McKenzie took up the role of Coaching Coordinator at the Brumbies. His two year stint at the Canberra based franchise included a Super 12 semi-final.
In 2000 McKenzie moved into the Wallabies coaching staff as an Assistant Coach and Coaching Co-ordinator to both Rod Macqueen and Eddie Jones between 2000 and 2003. He also served as a National Selector during this time as Wallabies Assistant Coach. While a part of the Wallabies framework McKenzie enjoyed a number successes including two Tri-Nations titles, an historic series victory against the British & Irish Lions and two Bledisloe Cup series triumphs.
McKenzie was also the Wallabies Assistant Coach at the 2003 RWC where Australia lost the final in extra time thanks to England flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson’s field goal.
In November 2003 McKenzie succeeded Bob Dwyer as Head Coach of the Waratahs. Two years later he led the team to the 2005 Super 12 final. The following year he steered the side to the 2006 semi-final and two years later took the Waratahs to the 2008 final. He remains the Waratahs’ longest serving coach. During his time at the Waratahs, McKenzie also took on the role of Australia A coach for the 2005 season.
After finishing up with the Waratahs at the end of 2008, McKenzie travelled to France, taking up the Head Coaching position at Stade Francais where he led the side to the Top 14 semifinal in his first and only year at the club.
In 2010 he joined the Queensland Reds where he steered the team to fifth place, their highest finish since 2002. In 2011 McKenzie enjoyed the ultimate success as a coach, guiding the Reds to their first Super Rugby Championship in the professional era. The Super Rugby title came after the Reds finished the regular season on top of the competition ladder with 13 victories and just three losses. In 2012 McKenzie again led the Reds to the top of the Australian Conference and the Super Rugby finals.
In his first three years at the helm, McKenzie contributed to the Reds winning every piece of available major silverware. The only trophy to elude the team during his opening two seasons in charge– the Rod Macqueen Cup – made its way to Queensland for the first time in 2012. Two successive victories over the Brumbies were the catalyst behind the Reds’ 2012 success as they again dominated their Australian rivals, winning seven of their eight matches against domestic opposition. Among other firsts, the Reds also claimed their maiden win at Eden Park against the Blues.
A product of Scotch College, Melbourne, Ewen McKenzie was the second born and bred Victorian to represent Australia after the great Sir Edward “Weary” Dunlop. He also has a degree in Town Planning.
Coaching Appointments: Qantas Wallabies Coach – 2013 - Director of Coaching, Queensland Reds – 2013 Head Coach, Queensland Reds – 2010 - 2012 Head Coach, Stade Francais – 2009 Head Coach, Australia A – 2005 Head Coach, Waratahs – 2003 - 2008 Assistant Coach/Coaching Coordinator, Wallabies – 2000 - 2003 Coaching Coordinator, ACT Brumbies – 1998 - 2000
Coaching Achievements: Super Rugby Australian Conference Winners – 2011 - 2012 (Queensland Reds) Super Rugby Championship – 2011 (Queensland Reds) France Top 14 Semi-Finalists – 2009 (Stade Francais) Super Rugby Semi-Finalists – 2006 (Waratahs) Super Rugby Finalists – 2005 and 2008 (Waratahs) Rugby World Cup Finalist – 2003 (Wallabies) British & Irish Lions Series Winners – 2001 (Wallabies) Tri Nations Winners – 2000 and 2001 (Wallabies) Bledisloe Cup Winners – 2000 and 2001 (Wallabies) Super Rugby Finalists – 2000 (Brumbies)
Playing Career: Australia (1988-1997) World XV (1992) NSW Waratahs (1987-1995) ACT Brumbies (1996-1997) Randwick Harlequins (Melbourne) Paris University
Attack Coach – Jim McKay
An assistant coach with Ewen McKenzie at the Queensland Reds over four seasons, the 2013 Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship is Jim McKay’s first assignment as attack coach for the Qantas Wallabies.
McKay was named in August as McKenzie’s only new addition to the Wallabies coaching set up, after the pair forged a Super Rugby-winning partnership together at the Reds. In just his second year with the club, McKay played an integral part in the Reds’ first Super Rugby title in 2011.
Prior to his time with the Reds, McKay held an impressive winning strike rate of over 80 per cent in 14 seasons of coaching.
His previous positions include head coach of the Leicester Tigers Academy in 2009, director of rugby and coaching at the Cornish Pirates from 2004 to 2008 and assistant coach of Orrell in 2003.
In 2012, McKay also finished his Masters of Coaching and Education after completing his final thesis on the ‘Role of Unstructured Practice in Elite Rugby’ at Sydney University.
Set Piece Coach – Andrew Blades
Now into the second year of his second stint as an assistant-coach of the Qantas Wallabies, Andrew Blades was capped on 32 occasions by Australia after making his Test debut against Scotland at Edinburgh in 1996.
His Test debut had been four years in the making after he first appeared for Australia on the 1992 tours of South Africa and the United Kingdom. A product of the Gordon Club in Sydney’s north, Blades was educated at Killara High School and came up through the grades, appearing for the Australian Schoolboys, Under-17 and Under-21 teams, before he made his debut for New South Wales against Canterbury in the then Super Six Championship in 1992.
Blades went on to make 47 appearances for the Waratahs through until his last season in 1999, with that career split by a one season stint with Queensland in 1995 where he featured in their Super 10-winning side.
Between 1996 and his Test career swansong at the 1999 Rugby World Cup, Blades featured in Australian teams which won and then successfully defended the Bledisloe Cup (1998 & 1999), before ending as part of the team which lifted the Rugby World Cup for the second time.
Blades moved into coaching soon after his retirement, assisting Eddie Jones and then David Nucifora during his time on the Brumbies coaching staff. Following this he had two seasons in the Northern Hemisphere from 2002-04 where he was forwards coach for the Newcastle Falcons in England’s club Premiership.
He returned to Australia take up a coaching position with the Wallabies in 2004. Blades subsequently worked for the NSW Rugby Union before returning to ARU last year, firstly as a resource coach for the national academy programme, then taking up his posting with the Qantas Wallabies.
Defence Coach – Nick Scrivener
A foundation member of the Brumbies playing squad in 1996, Nick Scrivener brought with him a wealth of experience – both with the Brumbies and in Scotland – when he last year joined the Qantas Wallabies in the role of Coaching Assistant.
Scrivener was educated at Marist College, Canberra, and the University of Canberra, combining his studies with a promising sporting career which saw him play for Tuggeranong Vikings then represent ACT in both Rugby Sevens and the XV a-side game, while featuring in the inaugural Brumbies squad.
He began his coaching career back at Marist College, before taking on a selection of ACT representative teams prior to re-joining the Brumbies as its Academy coach in 1999. Scrivener was then appointed Brumbies Skills Co-ordinator, working alongside firstly Eddie Jones and then David Nucifora, during the height of the club’s success between 2000 and 2004 when the Brumbies dominated the competition.
Head Performance Coach – Scott Murphy
After twenty years’ experience developing elite level athletes across a range of elite sports, Scott Murphy joined Australian Rugby Union in 2013 as the Qantas Wallabies Head Performance Coach.
Highly-regarded for his expertise in maximising professional athletes’ performance, Murphy has a strong Rugby pedigree having earlier enjoyed Premiership and European success in roles with Saracens and Bath Rugby Union in the United Kingdom.
His highlights also extend across a range of fields with Murphy part of the Brisbane Lions’ three premiership successes (2001-03) in the Australian Football League (AFL), a team coach for the Australian Athens Olympic Games and personally coaching multiple medalists in Track and Field for in the Commonwealth Games.
Having joined the Qantas Wallabies ahead of the historic British & Irish Lions series, Murphy is now responsible for managing all high performance elements of the national teams program, including physical development, sports science and nutrition.
Murphy has coached alongside four former or current Qantas Wallabies coaches in Ewen McKenzie, Robbie Deans, John Connelly and Eddie Jones.
His expertise has also afforded him the opportunity to experience a number of other elite performance environments, including but not limited to numerous international soccer heavyweights and in various American sports such as the National Football League (NFL) and National Basketball League (NBA).