John Connolly is a rugby union coach and the former head coach of the Wallabies. Connolly has in the past worked with the Queensland Reds, Stade Francois, Swansea RFC and Bath Rugby.
As a player, Connolly played hooker for the Brothers club in Brisbane. From 1980 through to 1982, Connolly acted as a player and a coach for a rugby team in Darwin. His first major coaching position was with the Brothers club in Brisbane in 1983, acting as the reserve grade coach for three years, during which time he took the team to two premierships. He was subsequently appointed the Under 19s and Under 21s Queensland rugby union coach. In 1989, Connolly took up a coaching position within the Queensland Rugby team and in 1991 served as an Australian selector. During his time with Queensland, the side won the Super Six in 1992 and the Super 10 Championship in 1994 and 1995.
With the inception of the Super 12 competition in Australia in 1996, Connolly continued his position at the Queensland Reds. The Reds won the minor premiership that year, and Connolly went on to win the Super 12 Coach of the Year award in both 1998 and 1999, the Reds also winning the minor premiership in 1999. He went over to France the following season, where he took up a position at the Stade Francois rugby club. The club won the premiership during the 1999-2000 season and were Heineken Cup finalists that year and the next. He subsequently moved to Wales to coach Swansea RFC before taking up a position with Bath Rugby in England. Bath won the minor premiership in the 2003-04 season, losing out to the London Wasps in the final, and Connolly was awarded the Zurich Premiership Director of the Year. The following year Bath were finalists in the Powergen Cup.
In 2006 Connolly was appointed the new head coach of the Australian team. In his first Test in charge, Australia defeated England in the first of two games in Australia, later finishing second in the 2006 Tri Nations Series.
Indications are that Connolly will return to coaching in the Super 14 competition in the near future, where he initially had so much success as coach of the Queensland Reds.
John Connolly travels from Queensland Australia