Wayne Pearce is one of Australia’s most respected and highest profile Rugby league identities. Prior to commencing his stellar Rugby League career, Wayne completed a Bachelor of Science degree and Diploma of Education at the University of New South Wales. The insights gained from his psychology studies ignited a life-long passion for understanding the science and motivation of human behaviour.
From 1980-1990, Wayne carved out an illustrious career in Rugby League where he represented and captained the Balmain Tigers, New South Wales and Australia. He played 217 competition matches for the Tigers, 16 State of Origins and 19 tests for Australia.
Wayne was marketed heavily as the face of Rugby league throughout the 1980’s and in 1988, whilst still a current player he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to Rugby League and the community
He retired from playing at the end of the 1990 season and after a short stint working in the media, he commenced a professional coaching career with the Balmain Tigers in 1994. He coached the Tigers through a through a period of massive change when they merged with Western Suburbs to become the Wests Tigers. He was so successful as the Tigers coach that he was appointed New South Wales state of origin coach in 1999 Wayne’s outstanding leadership was again showcased in the year 2000 when he coached the NSW Blues to 3-0 whitewash over Queensland. He became the only person to both captain (which he did in 1986) and then coach (in 2000) a 3-0 series whitewash Wayne is widely regarded as an innovator and in 2001 upon retiring from professional sports coaching, he took his knowledge and expertise in leading high performing teams to the corporate world using his corporate brand... “Wayne Pearce Advantage”. Over the past 20 years he has worked in a wide range of businesses in both the private and public sectors across Australia and South-East Asia. Wayne is acknowledged as one of the outstanding thought leaders on the topics of “high performance teamwork”; “engaging and influencing stakeholders” and “crisis leadership”.
Wayne continues to lead by example as is evidenced by his role as a Commissioner of the Australian Rugby League, which is the governing body of Rugby League in Australia.
In 2020, Wayne was tasked with organising and leading a team to get the NRL back up and running during the Covid-19 crisis. This high profile mission, which was named Project Apollo, was a huge success and the NRL defied the sceptics to become the first full contact professional sport in the world to resume their competition during the pandemic.