17th March 2021, 13:05 | combined_nations_all-stars
It has been confirmed that Tim Sheens will lead the Combined Nations All Stars in their battle with England on Friday 25th June at the Halliwell Jones Stadium later this year.
Sheens has enjoyed an illustrious career as a Head Coach and will offer a formidable opposition for Shaun Wane in his first outing as England boss.
Here’s a look at the Australian’s coaching record to date…
Sheens’ coaching career began with Penrith – the club at which he spent 12 years as a player – in 1984.
Throughout his four seasons as Head Coach of the Panthers the club reached the NRL Finals Series for the first time in their history but fell to a 38-6 defeat at the hands of Parramatta Eels at the Semi-Final stage.
Departing the club after a disappointing 1987 season, Sheens headed to Canberra Raiders.
It was with Canberra that Sheens would make his name and cement himself as one of the game’s all-time great coaches. Sheens managed to take Canberra to four NRL Grand Finals in the space of six seasons between 1989 and 1994.
He coached Canberra to their first-ever NRL Premiership in 1989 with a 19-14 victory over Balmain Tigers. In addition to the win sealing the Raiders’ first Premiership, it was also the first time the Grand Final was won by an out-of-Sydney club and also the first occasion in which the trophy was lifted from a team who finished in 4th position.
Not content with one title, Sheens would lead the Raiders to consecutive NRL Premierships the year after as they defeated Sheens’ former club Penrith 18-14 at the Sydney Football Stadium. The side was captained by that season’s top points-scorer, top try-scorer and all-time Kangaroos great Mal Meninga.
Another Grand Final followed in 1991, however Penrith would avenge their defeat a year prior with a 19-12 win.
Sheens would return to the Grand Final stage in 1994 as his Canberra outfit comfortably dispatched of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 36-12. The Bulldogs had edged out Canberra in the Semi-Finals but a seven-try rout at the Sydney Football Stadium secured a third Grand Final victory for the Raiders.
Canberra would once again reach the NRL Finals Series under Sheens in 1995 and 1996 but failed to progress to the Grand Final. Incidentally, the 1995 season saw Canberra lose just three games all season but miss out on both the League Leaders’ Shield and the Premiership.
After nine successful seasons with Canberra, Sheens ventured to Queensland to become North Queensland Cowboys Head Coach, leading the club into the newly-formed NRL in 1998. The Cowboys earned a 16th place finish in a 20-team competition.
Unfortunately, during his five-year tenure, Sheens couldn’t take the North Queensland to the NRL Finals Series and eventually left for Wests Tigers.
After two uneventful seasons with Wests Tigers, Sheens would embark on one of the most memorable Grand Final triumphs in recent memory in 2005.
In almost identical fashion to his Raiders side 16 years prior, Sheens would deliver the Tigers’ first-ever NRL Premiership after finishing in fourth spot during the regular season.
Wests comfortably defeated Sheens’ former club North Queensland, Brisbane Broncos and St George Illawarra Dragons before once again coming up against the Cowboys in the Grand Final.
The Tigers earned a 30-16 victory in a game which is remembered for an absolutely sensation try involving a Benji Marshall no-look flick pass which set Pat Richards free. The win saw Sheens claim his fourth NRL title.
However, Wests would only reach the NRL Finals on two occasions following their Grand Final triumph with a 2011 Semi-Final loss to New Zealand Warriors the closest they came to returning to the grandest stage.
Following some time with Salford Red Devils as the club’s Director of Rugby, Sheens took the reins at Hull Kingston Rovers who had just been relegated to the Betfred Championship following a dramatic Million Pound Game defeat to the Red Devils.
Sheens led the Robins to the League Leaders’ Shield, finishing three points above the London Broncos and thus entering The Qualifiers under the Super 8s format. Five wins from seven games ensured Hull Kingston Rovers returned to Betfred Super League in 3rd position and without the need of the Million Pound Game.
Hull Kingston Rovers maintained their Betfred Super League status until Sheens’ departure in 2019.
The Australian Head Coach enjoyed a brief spell at Widnes Vikings in 2020 winning five of his seven games in charge before the curtailment of the season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Between 2009 and 2015, Sheens led his country as Head Coach and enjoyed huge success winning 26 of his 31 games in charge.
Sheens led the Kangaroos to the Four Nations title in 2009 and 2011, twice beating England in the Final, before then going on to lift the 2013 Rugby League World Cup with Australia following a 2-34 hammering of New Zealand in the Final at Old Trafford.
You can purchase tickets to see England take on Tim Sheens’ Combined Nations All Stars at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday 25th June here.