SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 30: Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett talks to media during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval on May 30, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Rugby league has seen some of the best coaches in the world of rugby: men with an eye for the game, the ability to read opponents, and the knowledge and know-how to get the best out of the players they put on the field.

These are coaches who were always betting on their teams to win because they knew they had the skill and ability to be victors week in and week out. Here are the best rugby league coaches of all time.

Craig Bellamy
Craig Bellamy has been the man in charge of the Melbourne Storm since 2003. The former player holds a record of 343 wins out of 490 games, with two draws and 142 losses. His 70% win percentage is one of the highest in the league.

He has also led his side to four NRL premierships, the first one being a close-fought victory over the Manly Sea Eagles in 2007, then again in 2009, the third title in 2012, and finally, beating the Perth Panthers at the end of the 2020 season.

Jack Gibson
Jack Gibson was not only someone who had a long playing career but an equally long coaching career. He spent time at the helm of the Eastern Suburbs, St. George, Newtown Jets, South Sydney, Parramatta Eels, and Cronulla-Sutherland.

During his days as a coach, he would go on to win five titles, but he was also famous for his innovations. He was the first coach to use a computer to evaluate player performance, first to introduce weight machines into training, and even introduced mascara, worn under the eyes, to reduce glare.

Tim Sheens
Tim Sheens is one of the most recognisable names in rugby league and has been coaching since 1991. He has spent time at the Penrith Panthers, Canberra Raiders, North Queensland Cowboys, Wests Tigers, Hull Kingston Rovers and the Widnes Vikings.

Sheens has four titles under his belt. He won the grand final three times with Canberra, going back-to-back in 1989 and 1990, and winning the third title in 1994. He then won it once in 2005 with the Wests Tigers.

Arthur Holloway
You have to go back several decades if you want to find out more about Arthur Holloway. The man was a legend in the early 1900s and had a playing and coaching career that spanned over 40 years.

He had a record of 286 games, with 178 wins and 91 losses. His 61% success rate was one of the best at the time. His greatest achievement would have to be his eight titles, making him one of the most successful coaches in rugby league history.

Norm Provan
For a man who began his coaching career in his prime, Norm Provan had a relatively short coaching journey. He started in 1962 as the head coach of St. Georges Dragons, in 1975 he moved to Parramatta and then ended his career with Cronulla.

Provan finished his coaching career with one of the best records in the game. In total, he coached 181 games, had 124 wins and only 49 losses. He also managed to win 4 titles in that time. He easily had one of the most fruitful careers on this list.

Jack Rayner
Jack Rayner was another coach that had a fairly short run but was able to end his career with several victories to his name. He started coaching in 1949 at South Sydney, and then spent two years 1958-1960, at Parramatta.

In his time as a coach, he led his team to 121 wins in 216 games, as well as securing 5 Premiership titles. He won all five of his titles with South Sydney, winning the championship in 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954 and 1955.

Ken Kearney
Ken “Killer” Kearney can be credited with the most successful run in the history of St. Georges Dragons. His coaching career began with them in 1954, he then went on to coach Parramatta, Western Suburbs and Cronulla.

As mentioned, with the Dragons he steered them to five championships, winning in 1957, 58, 59, 60 and 61. In 2006, he was inducted into the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame, and in 2008, made the Top 100 list of Australia’s Greatest Players.

Wayne Bennett
Wayne Bennett was recently named the greatest Rugby League coach of all time. His coaching career has spanned many years now, starting in 1976 with Ipswich, and running up until earlier this year.

He has won seven premierships across his career, and in total has coached 788 games, with 489 wins and 285 losses. He relinquished his job at Queensland Maroons at the beginning of this year, and no one knows if he will be back or not, either way, he is currently regarded as and will go down as the greatest coach the game has seen.

While many names come and go in the Rugby League, the majority of them don’t leave a lasting mark. These former players and coaches will always be known as the most successful, the ones that changed the game, and the ones that paved the way for the hundreds of coaches still to come.