Mal Meninga

Sporting icon, State of Origin coach, motivational speaker

‘Big Mal’ Meninga is a rugby league immortal. A legendary goal-kicking centre in his time, his career has seen him take on the most challenging roles as coach of the Kangaroos and head of performance and culture with the Gold Coast Titans.

Mal broke numerous rugby league records during his playing career. He retired with the most appearances, scored the most points of any player in the Australian rugby league team, and became the top-point scorer for Queensland in State of Origin history.

He continues to remains a legendary figure in international rugby league, remembered for his formidable power, pace and deadly accuracy with the boot.

Mal’s undoubted coaching and motivational skills and business achievements have also made him a successful corporate coach and an in-demand speaker. He will motivate your business team or entertain your guests with stories of leadership, triumph and perseverance.

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In a playing career spanning 15 seasons, Mal Meninga lists among his accomplishments an unprecedented four Kangaroo tours including the last two as captain, an Australian record 45 Test match appearances, a record 38 appearances for Queensland and 5 NRL grand final wins.

Mal led Canberra to their first premiership in 1989 after overcoming the Balmain Tigers in the Grand Final and again winning the grand final in 1990 against the Penrith Panthers.

In 1990 he was named Britain’s BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year, the first rugby league player to win it. Big Mal captained Australia for 23 Test matches between 1990 and 1994, and captained the Queensland State of Origin team for three years from 1992 to 1994. He remains the only player to captain a Kangaroo Tour on two occasions, in 1990 and 1994.

In 1994 Mal was honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to rugby league. He has been inducted into the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame and has also been named at centre in both Queensland’s and Australia’s rugby league teams of the century.

He was appointed coach of the Canberra Raiders in 1997 and in 2006, made a stunning debut as the Maroons coach in the Rugby League State of Origin series, guiding Queensland to a 2-1 series victory – its first outright series victory since 2001. He went on to coach Queensland to nine State of Origin titles between 2006 and 2015. In 2016, he became coach of Australia, leading the Kangaroos to win the 2017 World Cup. In 2019 was appointed head of performance and culture with the Gold Coast Titans, a role performed alongside his duties as coach of the Kangaroos.

Committed to helping communities and charities, Mal also has a weekly column with the Sunday Mail newspaper and continues to expand his activities in the corporate world.

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