John Kear

Last updated

John Kear
John Kear Batley.jpg
Personal information
Born (1954-11-25) 25 November 1954 (age 66)
Castleford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Playing information
Position Wing, Centre, Fullback
Club
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1978–88 Castleford 1333700132
Coaching information
Club
YearsTeamGmsWDLW%
1992 Bramley RLFC
199596 PSG 44913420
199799 Sheffield Eagles 652433837
2000 Huddersfield-Sheffield 28402414
200506 Hull 432421756
200611 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 1536418842
201116 Batley Bulldogs
2018 Bradford Bulls 876112570
Total420186822644
Representative
YearsTeamGmsWDLW%
1997 France 1100100
2000 England 640267
2014 Wales 840450
As of 29 August 2021
Source: [1] [2]

John Kear (born 25 November 1954) is an English rugby league coach who is the head coach of Bradford Bulls and the Wales national rugby league team and also works as a pundit for BBC Sport. He is a former professional rugby league footballer. He is best known as a coach for his Challenge Cup successes with Sheffield Eagles in 1998 and Hull in 2005, as well as his time coaching Wakefield Trinity in the late 2000s. As a player, he played on the Wing or in the Centre position for Castleford (Heritage № 596).

Contents

Background

Kear was born in Castleford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England.

Playing career

County Cup Final appearances

John Kear played as a left wing in Castleford's 13-2 defeat by Hull in the 1983 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1983–84 season at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday 15 October 1983.

Coaching career

Early career

After stints working as a conditioner for Castleford, as head coach of Bramley (1992), working in the player performance department of the Rugby Football League, head coach of Paris Saint-Germain, and assistant coach to both England and Great Britain, he took over the coaching reins at Sheffield Eagles in 1997, taking them to the Premiership semi-final in that year. A year later he was the coach who led Sheffield Eagles to a Challenge Cup final victory over the Wigan Warriors; this triumph has been described as one of the greatest shocks in Challenge Cup history. [3]

Sheffield Eagles merged with the Huddersfield Giants after 1999's Super League IV, and Kear retained his job as coach of the merged side before moving on to become the assistant coach to Stuart Raper at the Wigan Warriors.

He was coach of the England team in the 2000 World Cup, [4] leading them to the semi-finals.

Later career

He left Wigan for the first team coach role at Hull, working with Shaun McRae. He stepped up to first team coach at Hull in 2005 when predecessor Shaun McRae left to take charge of South Sydney Rabbitohs. [5] He led the club to victory over Leeds, by a 25–24 scoreline in the 2005 Challenge Cup in his first season. However, in April 2006 he was sacked by Hull. [6]

Kear in 2007 John Kear.jpg
Kear in 2007

He took charge of Wakefield Trinity in July 2006 where he steered the team clear of relegation with four wins from the last six matches of the season, culminating in the great escape and condemning Castleford to relegation to National League One.

In 2007 he fielded a predominantly untried squad and led Trinity to 8th position in the Super League, their second highest Super League finish.

In 2009 Kear led Wakefield Trinity to 5th position, their highest ever Super League finish. The team were knocked out of the first round of the play-offs by Catalans Dragons.

In 2011 Kear left Wakefield Trinity to become head coach of Batley.

Bradford Bulls

Following the 2017 World Cup, Kear signed a 3 year deal to coach RFL League 1 side Bradford Bulls following their relegation from the RFL Championship. [7] During his first season he missed out on automatic promotion as York City Knights finished top of the table, however he guided the Bulls to a 27-8 victory against Workington Town in the 2018 League 1 playoff final ensuring promotion to the Championship for the 2019 season. [8]

During the 2019 pre-season Kear coached the side to win the revived Yorkshire Cup beating Halifax R.L.F.C. (26-16) and Dewsbury Rams (20-18) to progress to the final where the Bulls beat Batley Bulldogs (14-12) in front of a crowd of 2,278. [9] [10] John Kear's reputation as a 'giant killer' in the Challenge Cup was once again shown as the Bulls defeated arch rivals and Super League side Leeds Rhinos 24-22 in front of a 10,258 home crowd, however the Bulls were knocked out in the quarter finals by Halifax. [11] Despite the Challenge Cup run, in the league Kear could only manage to get the Bulls to 6th place in the table, narrowly missing out on the playoffs.

At the start of the 2020 season, Kear nearly pulled off another Challenge Cup upset against Super League opposition Wakefield Trinity, however the Bulls just narrowly lost the match 14-17. The 2020 season was suspended indefinitely after four league games due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. [12] Following this, Kear signed a 2 year extension to his contract keeping him at the Bulls until the end of the 2022 season. [13]

Wales

On 16 July 2014 Kear succeeded Iestyn Harris as head coach of Wales, a role he undertook alongside his position at Batley and subsequently at Bradford Bulls. [14] His first game was against Scotland in the 2014 European Cup. Wales lost the opening game by a score of 42–18. [15] After the 2014 European Cup event, his Welsh team took on Scotland again in the opening match of the 2015 Tournament. John's team earned their first ever victory after a spree of 12 consecutive defeats which began back in 2011. [16] Wales went on to be unbeaten in the tournament resulting in them winning their first European Cup tournament since 2010. [17] The following year, he was required to make Wales qualify for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup via the European qualifiers. In the opening game at Llanelli, Wales thrashed Serbia by 50 points.

He coached the Wales 9s squad at the 2019 Rugby League World Cup 9s. [18]

Managerial statistics

Managerial record by team and tenure
TeamFromToRecord
PWDLWin %
Bradford Bulls 11 December 2017Present8761125070.11
Total8761125070.11
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Roy Dickinson
1991
Coach
Castleford colours.svg
Bramley RLFC

1992
Succeeded by
Maurice Bamford
1993
Preceded by
n/a
Coach
Paris Saint-Germain

1995-1996
Succeeded by
Andy Goodway
1997
Preceded by
Phil Larder
1997
Coach
Sheffeagles colours.svg
Sheffield Eagles

1997-1999
Succeeded by
Mark Aston
1999-2005
Preceded by
Ivan Grésèque
1994-1996
Coach
Flag of France.svg
France

1997-1998
Succeeded by
Patrick Pedrazzani
1998-1999
Preceded by
Mal Reilly
1999
Coach
Giantscolours.svg
Huddersfield Sheffield

1999-2001
Succeeded by
Phil Veivers
2001
Preceded by
Andy Goodway
1998
Coach
Flag of England.svg
England

1999-2004
Succeeded by
Karl Harrison
2004-2006
Preceded by
Shaun McRae
2000-2004
Coach
Hullcolours.svg
Hull F.C.

2005-2006
Succeeded by
Peter Sharp
2006-2008
Preceded by
Tony Smith
2005-2006
Coach
Wcatscolours.svg
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats

2006-2011
Succeeded by
Richard Agar
2011-2014
Preceded by
Karl Harrison
2009-2012
Coach
Batley colours.svg
Batley Bulldogs

2011-2016
Succeeded by
Matt Diskin
2016-2019
Preceded by
Iestyn Harris
2009-2013
Coach
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg
Wales

2014-present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Geoff Toovey
2017
Coach
Bullscolours.svg
Bradford Bulls

2018-present
Succeeded by
Incumbent

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References

  1. Rugby League Project
  2. Rugby League Project Coaching
  3. "History". rugby-league.com. Rugby Football League. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  4. "Fiji send warning to Kear's troops (03.11.2000)". ThisIsLondon.co.uk. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  5. "Coaches and Captains". hullfc.com. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  6. "BBC SPORT – Rugby League – Super League – Hull – Kear makes swift Hull departure". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  7. "Bradford Bulls set to announce John Kear as new coach". Telegraph & Argus. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  8. "Joy and relief as Bradford Bulls back on the up with promotion". Telegraph & Argus. 7 October 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  9. "Dewsbury next for Bulls after Yorkshire Cup win over Halifax". Telegraph & Argus. 6 January 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  10. "Bulls claim Yorkshire Cup win over Batley Bulldogs". Telegraph & Argus. 20 January 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  11. "Bradford stun rivals Leeds to reach Challenge Cup quarter-finals". The Guardian. 11 May 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  12. "Coronavirus: Rugby Football League suspends season until 3 April". BBC Sport. 16 March 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  13. "Bradford Bulls secure John Kear on new deal". Yorkshire Post. 3 June 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  14. "John Kear appointed as successor to Iestyn Harris as Wales head coach". Sky Sports. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  15. "Brough leads Scotland to victory over Wales". WalesRugbyLeague.co.uk. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  16. "WALES 18 SCOTLAND 12". WALES RUGBY LEAGUE. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  17. "European Championship: Wales beat Ireland to win title". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  18. "16-man squad for 9s World Cup revealed". Wales RL. 9 October 2019. Archived from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.