With the Raiders having enjoyed an outstanding 2019 season, the influence of the Green Machine in the Green and Gold is the strongest it’s been in years with Josh Papalii, Jack Wighton and Nick Cotric all preparing to represent Australia tonight.
However, it’s in the coaching box where the Raiders have continuously had a strong influence within the Kangaroos ranks.
Three-time Raiders premiership winning captain Mal Meninga has been in top job since 2016, while Raiders Premiership winning coach Tim Sheens and current Raiders Head Coach Ricky Stuart were his two predecessors.
It’s not just the senior side that have a former Raider at the helm though. The Junior Kangaroos, Jillaroos and Australian Schoolboys are all led by people who have previously coached or played for the club.
Having coached the Canberra Raiders in 2007 and 2008, Neil Henry has been Head Coach of the Junior Kangaroos since 2018. After working as a coach in the Raiders junior development pathways, Brad Donald has been at the helm for the Jillaroos since 2017.
Tony Adam who led the Canberra Raiders to the 2008 Toyota Cup (NYC) Premiership is currently the Head Coach of the Australian Schoolboys aswell.
As the Kangaroos prepare to face the Kiwis tonight, it won’t just be the Australian coaching box that will have a familiar face at the helm. Michael Maguire, who played for the club between 1992-1998 before becoming an assistant coach at the Raiders, will be leading the Kiwis. On Saturday night, the Great Britain Lions will be coached by a man who learned his trade at the Raiders in 1987.
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In addition to this, Queensland Maroon coach Kevin Walters and Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley both were part of the Raiders 1989 Premiership winning team.
With all three tier one nations being coached by former Raiders players or coaches, it’s fair to say that influence of the Raiders across International rugby league is unrivalled.