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Bob Dwyer

Bob Dwyer AM (born 29 November 1940) is an Australian rugby union coach.

Educated at Sydney Boys High School, graduating in 1957,[1] where he played 2nd XV for the school where he played alongside former Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks player George Taylforth and St. George Dragons halfback George Evans.[2] He coached Sydney club Randwick to four Sydney championship wins before becoming Australia's national team coach. He coached Australia from 1982–83, and again from 1988. He coached Australia to victory at the 1991 Rugby World Cup.

Dwyer moved to Leicester Tigers after the game turned professional in 1996 and replaced Tony Russ. Tigers had immediate success, in 1997 reaching the Heineken Cup final and winning the Pilkington Cup, but finished fourth in the league. Dwyer's harsh attitude to the players led to them dubbing him 'Barb Dwyer' ('barbed wire') and a public spat with one of them, Austin Healey ensued.[citation needed] The club's board decided to replace Dwyer with former club captain Dean Richards.

In 1998 Dwyer was appointed head coach of recently relegated Bristol. Under him the club returned to the Premiership at the first time of asking.[3] The next season saw Bristol finish sixth in the top flight and narrowly miss out on qualification for the Heineken Cup. In 2000, Dwyer left Bristol after changes to the club's back room staff.[4] In his time at Bristol Dwyer was a forceful advocate for the club's potential to be the leading light in English rugby, "the potential here is greater than in any other rugby city in England, including Leicester".[5]

In 2001 Dwyer returned to Australia and became coach of the New South Wales Waratahs in Super Rugby (at the time known as Super 12). He led the Waratahs to an eighth-place finish in 2001 and their first semi-final in the competition in 2002. He resigned in 2003 after a fifth-place finish but stayed with the New South Wales union as a development officer.

In 2011, he was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame, alongside all other Rugby World Cup-winning head coaches and captains through the 2007 edition.[6]

He has written two autobiographies - The Winning Way (1992) and Full Time: A coach's Memoirs (2004). He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1991 and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2004 for services to rugby union.[7][8] Dwyer survived a heart attack in 2013.[9]


  1. ^ []
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Rugby Union: Bristol promoted in top drawer fashion – Independent, The (London) – Find Articles at".[dead link]
  4. ^ "Rugby Union: Waratahs decide on Dwyer in attempt to stop slide – Independent, The (London) – Find Articles at".[dead link]
  5. ^ "Rugby Union: Dwyer's fight for the future – Independent, The (London) – Find Articles at".[dead link]
  6. ^ "RWC legends inducted into IRB Hall of Fame" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 26 October 2011. Archived from the original on 27 October 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Bob Dwyer OAM". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  8. ^ []
  9. ^ Guinness, Rupert (3 January 2013). "Dwyer recovering after heart attack". Retrieved 3 January 2013.
Preceded by
Alan Jones
Australia National Rugby Union Coach
Succeeded by
Greg Smith
Preceded by
Bob Templeton
Australia National Rugby Union Coach
Succeeded by
Alan Jones