New Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary has a decade of NRL coaching experience and a well-earned reputation for improving teams.
CAREER OF NEW WESTS TIGERS NRL COACH IVAN CLEARY
189 NRL games with Manly (1992-93), North Sydney (1994-95), Sydney Roosters (1996-99) and Warriors (2000-02). A versatile but often injury-affected utility back, Cleary had his best NRL years at the Roosters when he was the league's top pointscorer in 1998, setting a then-record for most individual points in a season (284). He joined the Warriors in his career twilight. Midway through the 2002 season, despite being the competition's leading points-scorer at age 31, he was released due to salary cap restrictions.
WARRIORS (2005-11): After taking Sydney Roosters' NSW Cup side to the 2004 title, Clearly started as an assistant to Warriors coach Tony Kemp. He took over as head coach when Kemp was sacked after the Warriors finished the 2005 season in 11th. In six years at the helm in Auckland, Cleary guided them to four finals series, reaching the 2011 grand final, which they lost to Manly.
PENRITH (2012-15): Cleary was poached by Penrith supremo Phil Gould to replace Matt Elliott on a three-year deal. After a tough first season limping to 15th place, they improved to 10th the next year. In 2014, the Panthers finished fourth to make their first finals since 2010 but were beaten by Canterbury in the preliminary finals. Clearly was named Dally M coach of the year. Gould sacked him at the end of the next season when they missed the finals, replacing him with Anthony Griffin. Gould said he believed Cleary needed a break from coaching.
Wests Tigers (2017-): Cleary takes up one of the toughest jobs in rugby league by filling sacked Jason Taylor's shoes as coach of the NRL's last-placed side. The side's quest to play finals for the first time since 2011 has started poorly, losing their last four games, including Sunday's 28-6 loss to St George Illawarra.