John Eales is one of Australia's all-time rugby greats. He took part in two successful World Cup campaigns; captained the Wallabies in memorable victories including the 1999 World Cup; led Australia through four successive Bledisloe Cup wins and two successful seasons of Tri-Nations fixtures. He also led the Wallabies to the first-ever defeat of the British and Irish Lions.
But John Eales is a man whose outstanding qualities extend much further than his exceptional skill on the football field. He is an inspirational leader and business man through both his actions and his relentless determination. John's sense of fair play and genial nature made him one of the most respected figures in the game, and an extraordinary ambassador for sport and Australia.
An in-demand keynote speaker for corporate events, lunches and after-dinner functions, the messages John delivers are invaluable. He inspires and instructs by focusing on the importance of coaching, teamwork and culture within corporations and the necessity for faith in the abilities of team members, particularly in times of change, in order to remain composed in the face of aggressive competition.
In a career that spanned 10 years, John Eales played a total of 86 Tests for Australia, captaining them on 55 occasions and accumulating 173 test points, making him the highest-scoring forward in the history of rugby. When he retired from rugby in 2001, he was Australia's most-capped captain and regarded as the most outstanding forward in world rugby. His athleticism and natural leadership qualities made him an automatic selection in any World XV.
John has been a great ambassador for rugby. Indeed so highly is John remembered that an elite group of experts, including former national coaches Bob Dwyer, David Brockoff and ex-Wallaby Jeff Miller voted him as the No.1 player Australia has produced. In 2002 the ARU launched a prestigious award to honour the game's best Wallaby player each season, known as The John Eales Medal. The ARU also named John Eales an Australian Rugby Statesman. In 1999 he was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) for services to the community and rugby.
John Eales has seamlessly transferred his natural leadership qualities to the corporate world. John is a founder of the Mettle Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chandler Macleod Group and a Director of International Quarterback. He is on the board of the Australian Rugby Union, GRM International, The Sport Australia Hall of Fame and International Quarterback, is a columnist with the Australian Financial Review, a lecturer at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney and consults to major Australian companies including Westpac, Qantas and Salmat.
He also wrote Learning From Legends. The book, with a foreword by former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, talks about different legends of Australian sport including Peter Brock and Grant Hackett. Peter Fitzsimons' biography on John Eales achieved outstanding public interest and, for a sports biography, stratospheric sales results.
Not satisfied with simply excelling at Rugby, in 2010 John Eales dethroned the previous Australian Sudoku champion, Mark Skiffington in the Australian Sudoku Championships in Perth. Although he was not able to lead his Queensland team to victory on the night (the State Competition was won by Western Australia), he was ranked Australia's number one Sudoku player.