|Born||2 May 1960|
Gooloogong, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||173 cm (5 ft 8 in)|
|Weight||86 kg (13 st 8 lb)|
Royce Simmons (born 2 May 1960 in Gooloogong, New South Wales) is an Australian professional rugby league football coach, former player and most recently a former head coach of St. Helens in the Super League.A former test hooker, New South Wales representative and long-serving Penrith Panthers player in the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, he later became coach of the club after his retirement.
On 25 June 2016, Simmons was inducted into the Penrith Panthers hall of fame alongside Grahame Moran, Greg Alexander and Craig Gower.
After trialling with both St. George and Souths, Simmons was eventually given a contract in 1980 with Penrith. Simmons played much of his first year at lock but was moved to hooker late in the 1981 season.
Simmons was first selected to represent New South Wales as a hooker for games II and III of the 1984 State of Origin series, replacing Rex Wright who had been chosen for game I.
After missing the 1985 series when selectors chose Balmain's Benny Elias instead, Simmons regained his place for the Blues in the successful 1986 series against Queensland, including a Man of the Match in game I. Simmons secured a place as the first Penrith player to represent Australia when made his Test début in the first test against New Zealand at Carlaw Park in Auckland, and played in ten international games over the next year. Simmons' final test appearance came in Australia at Lang Park against New Zealand, losing 6–13.
At the end of the 1986 NSWRL season, Simmons was selected for the undefeated 1986 Kangaroo tour and played in all six tests on the tour against Papua New Guinea, Great Britain and France. Simmons and Halfback Greg Alexander became the first Penrith players to be selected for a Kangaroo Tour.
Simmons was selected for all games of the 1987 State of Origin series, including the fourth game held at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach, California (United States). His last appearance in a New South Wales jersey was in game I of the 1988 series at the Sydney Football Stadium, with NSW losing 18–26. The Blues would not win another game until Game 1 of the 1990 series.
In 1983, Simmons was appointed captain of the team, a position he retained until 1990 when he captained the Panthers in the 1990 Grand Final loss to the Canberra Raiders. Despite struggling with injuries, he memorably scored two tries in the 1991 Grand Final against the same opponents. The Panthers won their first premiership, and Simmons retired with his second try late in the game (and Alexander's brilliant sideline conversion) sealing the win for the Phil Gould coached Panthers. In the post-game celebrations, Simmons said he wanted to have a beer with every Penrith supporter. He also stated that despite being overjoyed at finally winning a premiership, nothing could erase the bad memory of losing the 1990 decider to the Raiders.Following the grand final victory he travelled with the Panthers to England for the 1991 World Club Challenge which was lost to Wigan.
In October 2004, Simmons was named at hooker in the Panthers' Team of Legends.
Simmons began coaching in 1992 for St Marys reserve grade side. Late that year he moved to England to coach Hull F.C. for two seasons.
Simmons went on to become Panthers coach in the closing stages of the 1994 NSWRL season after Phil Gould was dismissed, and served for seven seasons until he was himself sacked from the position after the 2001 NRL season, when the Panthers won the wooden spoon.The Panthers made the finals twice under Simmons' tenure, in the 1997 Super League finals and National Rugby League season 2000 finals.
Simmons served as the Wests Tigers assistant coach under his former coach Tim Sheens from 2003 to 2010,during which time they took out the 2005 NRL Premiership. He has also worked as Tim Sheens' assistant coach for the Australian national team.
Simmons was named to take over the coaching position at St Helens in 2011.
He coached the St. Helens in the 2011 Super League Grand Final defeat by the Leeds Rhinos at Old Trafford.
He parted company with St Helens in March 2012.Simmons was sacked after a five-game losing streak. Commenting on the decision, he said, "If I had a neck, I'd probably hang myself."
In November 2012, Simmons was named assistant coach at NRL side Wests Tigers.
The Penrith Panthers are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the western Sydney suburb of Penrith that competes in the National Rugby League (NRL). The team is based 55 km west of the centre of Sydney and at the foot of the Blue Mountains.
Gregory Peter Stephen Alexander, also known by the nickname of "Brandy", is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s and 1990s, who has since become a radio, television commentator and noted rugby league journalist. Originally a goal-kicking half-back, in his career he played for and captained the Penrith Panthers and the Auckland Warriors clubs and also represented his country and state on several occasions. Alexander's position for the majority of his career was at half-back, however early in his career – particularly in representative sides – he was moved to fullback. It was this ability to play different positions with great success that saw Alexander make both the 1986 and the 1990 Kangaroo Tours.
Bradley Scott Fittler, also known by the nickname of "Freddy","is the head coach of the New South Wales State of Origin team, a commentator and a television presenter. Fittler has previously coached the Sydney Roosters in the NRL, the NSW City side and at international level he coached Lebanon. He is a former professional player who was named among the finest rugby league footballers of the first century of rugby league in Australia.
Craig Gower is an Italian-Australian former professional rugby league and rugby union footballer who played in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. He is a dual-code rugby international, having played rugby league for Australia and rugby union for Italy. A New South Wales State of Origin and Australian Kangaroos representative halfback or hooker, he played in the National Rugby League for Sydney club the Penrith Panthers. Gower then switched rugby union, playing for French Top 14 side Bayonne, and through grandparentage represented Italy. He returned to rugby league with the London Broncos in the Super League and then finished his playing career with one more National Rugby League season at the Newcastle Knights.
Tim Sheens is an Australian professional rugby league football coach and former player. Head Coach of the Australia national team between 2009 and 2015, he has also been the head coach of National Rugby League (NRL) clubs, the Penrith Panthers, the Canberra Raiders, the North Queensland Cowboys and the Wests Tigers. As a player, Sheens was a prop forward with Sydney's Penrith club in the 1970s and 1980s before he retired and became their coach.
Ricky John Stuart is an Australian professional rugby league football coach who is the head coach of the Canberra Raiders in the NRL and a former rugby league footballer who played as a halfback in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.
Luke Priddis is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer. An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative hooker, he played club football in the National Rugby League for the Canberra Raiders, Brisbane Broncos and Penrith Panthers and, finally, the St. George Illawarra Dragons.
Ivan Cleary is an Australian professional rugby league coach who is the head coach of the Penrith Panthers in the NRL and a former professional rugby league footballer who played as a fullback and centre in the 1990s and 2000s.
Petero Civoniceva, is an Fijian-Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. A Queensland State of Origin and Australian international representative prop forward, in 2009 he broke the record for most international matches for Australia of any forward in history. Civoniceva played his club football for the Brisbane Broncos, with whom he won the 1998, 2000 and 2006 NRL Premierships, as well as for the Penrith Panthers, whom he captained. Late in his career whilst playing for the Redcliffe Dolphins in the Queensland Cup, Civoniceva captained the Fiji national team in their 2013 Rugby League World Cup campaign. The Petero Civoniceva Medal is awarded to the Australian Fijian rugby league footballer of the year, while the Civoniceva Medal is awarded to the Queensland Cup player voted as the best and fairest.
Richard Swain is a New Zealand former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s and 2000s. A New Zealand international hooker, he played club football in Australia for the Hunter Mariners, Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos and in England for Hull F.C.
Matt Adamson is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s and 2000s. A New South Wales State of Origin and Australian international representative second-row, he played club football in Australia with the Parramatta Eels, Penrith Panthers and Canberra Raiders, and in England with Leeds. Adamson started his career as a fullback or positions, and was moved into the forwards by Penrith coach Royce Simmons, in 1996.
Desmond John Hasler is an Australian professional rugby league coach who is the head coach of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in the NRL, and a former professional rugby league footballer.
John Lang is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and coached in the 1980s through to the 2010s. A Queensland State of Origin and Australian international representative hooker, he played his club football in Brisbane with the Eastern Suburbs Tigers and in Sydney with the Eastern Suburbs Roosters. After playing, Lang became a first-grade coach in Brisbane with Easts, then in Sydney with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Penrith Panthers and South Sydney Rabbitohs. Lang also coached the Australian Super League test team in 1997.
The 1991 NSWRL season was the eighty-fourth season of professional rugby league football in Australia. This year the New South Wales Rugby League experimented with a draft system for the first time. Sixteen clubs competed for the J J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup premiership during the season, which culminated in a replay of the previous year's grand final between the Canberra Raiders and the Penrith Panthers.
David Fairleigh is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer and current assistant coach for the North Queensland Cowboys in the National Rugby League (NRL). An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative forward, he played the majority of his club football in Australia for the North Sydney Bears, winning 1994's Rothmans Medal. This was followed by a season at the Newcastle Knights, and another in England at St. Helens, with whom he won the 2001 Challenge Cup Final before retiring. Since retiring in 2001 he has spent the last 19 years coaching in the NRL mainly as an Assistant Coach. Teams he has worked at include the Newcastle Knights, Parramatta Eels, New Zealand Warriors, Penrith Panthers and the Nth Queensland Cowboys.
Lachlan Coote is a Scotland and Great Britain international rugby league footballer who plays as a fullback for St Helens in the Super League.
The history of the Penrith Panthers stretches back to the 1960s when a team from Penrith entering Sydney's elite competition was first mooted. After admission to the NSWRFL premiership in 1967, the club struggled on-field until reaching the finals for the first time in the 1980s, and reaching the grand final in the 1990s. The Panthers were a part of 1997's Super League competition before continuing in the re-unified NRL competition. To date they have won two premierships: 1991 and 2003.
Mitch Rein is an Australian rugby league footballer who plays as a hooker for the Gold Coast Titans in the NRL.
The 2003 NRL Grand Final was the conclusive and premiership-deciding match of the 2003 NRL season. In what was a contest of Sydney's east versus west, defending premiers the Sydney Roosters played against minor premiers the Penrith Panthers. The first grand final since 1996 to feature two Sydney-based teams was played on the night of Sunday, 5 October at Stadium Australia in the inner western suburb of Sydney Olympic Park. Domestically, live free-to-air television coverage was provided by Nine's Wide World of Sports. The match was also broadcast live in the United States by Fox Soccer.
Apisai Koroisau is a Fiji international rugby league footballer who plays as a hooker for the Penrith Panthers in the NRL.
| Coach |
| Coach |
Mike Rush (interim)