John Eales has left an indelible mark on the world of Australian rugby and cements his standing as one of the all-time greats. In 1991 John made his debut and quickly followed that same year with his first World Cup winner's medal at age 20. As Wallabies captain he led the team to their second World Cup victory, and holds the record for the highest number of games as captain. A player of outstanding ability, admired coach, and in-demand public speaker, John commands respect as a player and person.
From Wallaby great to business success and life after rugby, John Eales has maintained his trademark leadership and humility throughout his life.
Honoured with every individual and team award during his career, today John Eales rates his family as the essential ingredient in his life.
He is a businessman, newspaper columnist, author and in the community he is personally committed to the Cancer Council.
Former Queensland and Australia lock John Eales will be remembered as one of the all-time great rugby players. His retirement from Rugby in September 2001 marked the end of an era for the Australian game. Not only is he the third-most capped Wallaby ever; he is also the most capped Wallaby captain.
John participated in two successful World Cup campaigns; captained the Wallabies in memorable victories including the 1999 World Cup; led Australia through four successive years of Bledisloe Cup wins and two successful seasons of Tri-Nations fixtures and he also led the Wallabies to the first ever defeat of the British and Irish Lions.
Eales has been a great ambassador for the sport and his sense of fair play and genial nature made him one of the most respected figures in world rugby.
In a career that spanned 10 years, John played 86 Tests for Australia, captaining them on 55 occasions accumulating 173 test points. During this time he was regarded as the most outstanding forward in world rugby. His athleticism and natural leadership qualities making him an automatic selection in any World XV.
On news of his retirement, tributes flooded in from far and wide. Australian Prime Minister John Howard said: 'I wish to record my admiration for the magnificent contribution that John Eales has made to the game of rugby and to Australian and international sport. John Eales has been an inspirational leader, an outstanding and courageous player, and an example to all in the way he has conducted himself on and off the field'.
In 2002, John started a new phase in his life transferring his leadership skills to the corporate world. He has developed the brand John Eales 5, which deals in Corporate Entertainment. John is also an executive to the BT Financial Group, an Ambassador of the Australian Rugby Union and Audi Australia.
John is also the Co-Founder of the Mettle Group, a Columnist for Australian Financial Review, Board member of SAHOF and the Author of “Learning Business and Learning from Legends Sport".
2002 – ARU Launched a prestigious award to honour the games best Wallaby Player each season, known as the John Eales Medal.
2001 - Bledisloe, Tri-Nations, British & Irish Lions Test & Bledisloe Cup victories
2000 - Bledisloe Cup victory, Tri-nations victory
1999 - Captain, Australian Wallabies World Cup Champions, Awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to community and rugby.
1998 - Captained Australia’s 3-0 Bledisloe Cup victory and undefeated UK tour
1997, 1995, 1990 - Stan Pelicki Medal for Queensland Rugby’s Best and Fairest Player
1996 - Named Australian Wallaby Captain and led Australia on undefeated Italy and UK tour
1995 - Australian Players’ Player of the Year
1991 - Member of victorious World Cup side
“Excellent. John was well-prepared and professional with a touch of humour that really hit the mark for a predominantly non-rugby audience however, all guests came away with a sense of understanding and a little of his infectious love for the sport."
“Very Good. John was a very good speaker and had our audience captivated for the hour over dinner. He was very easy to listen to."
National Prescribing Service
“Excellent. From the moment John arrived at the function he became part of the night. He chatted with all of our guests and happily had photographs taken and signed footballs etc. John was an excellent presenter. He spoke for over 40 minutes and the audience were totally immersed in his stories. He was happy to take questions and stayed quite late chatting to customers. I would highly recommend him."
“Excellent.It doesn't matter whether you follow rugby or not, John is a figure to be admired. What is it that makes John such an admirable figure? Since the WOPPA dinner , I've thought about that question and his talk a lot and I think the quality that struck me most was his genuine humility.John is a man who has achieved so much in sport and then in business yet there is a distinct lack of self-righteousness. The crowd was thoroughly enthralled for the 1hr 20 mins he spoke lapping up his talk which was peppered with words of wisdom and a gentle self-deprecating humour.John was an absolute delight to work with and nothing was too much trouble. What a treat! “
Northern Rivers General Practice Network