Leadership Lessons, Lifelong Fitness and Saving the NRL
Wayne Pearce is a High School science teacher, Rugby League hall-of-famer, Balmain Tigers captain, former coach, listed in the 100 greatest players of all time, NRL commissioner, leadership coach and was responsible for getting rugby league back onto the park during COVID-19.
Wayne is one of Australia’s most respected and highest-profile Rugby league identities. Prior to commencing his football career, Wayne completed a Bachelor of Science degree. The insights gained from psychology studies ignited a life-long passion for understanding the science and motivation of human behaviour.
Wayne carved out an illustrious career in Rugby League where he represented and captained the Balmain Tigers, New South Wales and Australia. He played 217 matches for the Tigers, 16 State of Origins and 19 tests for Australia; and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to Rugby League and the community.
Wayne coached the Tigers through a period of massive change when they merged with Western Suburbs to become the Wests Tigers. He was appointed New South Wales State of Origin coach in 1999 and became the only person to both captain (1986) and coach (2000) a 3-0 series whitewash.
After retiring from sports coaching, he took his knowledge and expertise to the corporate world, where he continues to lead by example as a Commissioner of the Australian Rugby League. Wayne recently led the high-profile Project Apollo team, which was the mission to get the NRL back up and running during the COVID-19 crisis. As a result, the NRL defied the critics and the sceptics to become the first full-contact professional sport in the world to resume their competition during the middle of the pandemic.