DAMIEN HILL – HEAD COACH
Position: Head Coach
Coaching Career: Suntory (Japan), Sydney University, Melbourne Rebels (current)
Damien began his Rugby coaching career at an early age, where he would watch his father, Brian coach the Wagga City first hand as a 10 year old.
Hill continued to play sport, although not Rugby, playing state representative honours in AFL, Rugby League and Soccer.
In 1999 Damien joined the ACT Brumbies Staff as a Development Officer, progressing into a Coaching Development role under Eddie Jones.
In 2002 Hill moved to Japan to become Coaching Coordinator and Backs Coach of Suntory Rugby Football Club, before returning to the Shute Shield with Sydney University, winning three consecutive premierships.
As the RaboDirect Rebels Head Coach Damien has been influenced by many great Rugby mentors, including former Wallaby and Japan National Coach Eddie Jones and Rebels foundation Head Coach Rod MacQueen.
In his second term at the helm, Hill looks for those who constantly challenge the status quo, recruiting players around culture and the clubs ethos.
A selfless and hard working coach, Hill’s squad is in its best shape since joining the Super Rugby Competition, for what will be the biggest year in the history of Rugby Union in Victoria.
Damien has a Sports Science Degree at The University of Canberra.
JOHN MUGGLETON - SENIOR ASSISTANT COACH
Position: Senior Assistant Coach
Coaching Career: Wallabies, USA National Team, Georgia National Team, Llaneli Scarlets (Wales), Queensland Reds, NSW Waratahs, ACT Brumbies, Melbourne Rebels (current)
John is a highly regarded coach who comes to the RaboDirect Rebels with over 140 coaching Tests experience. After a successful career with the Wallabies, USA, Llanelli Scarlets and most recently Georgia at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, his fourth as a coach, he returned to Australia regarded as one of the world’s best coaches in his defensive field.
During his 10 years as the Wallabies’ defence coach, John played a major role in winning five Bledisloe Cups, two Tri-Nations titles and the 1999 World Cup where the Wallabies conceded only one try throughout the tournament.
An accomplished Rugby League player in his own right, the clubs Senior Assistant was a member of the undefeated Australian Kangaroo tour of 1982 and won three premierships with the Parramatta Eels.
John’s sons Jarrod and Joshua both display similar sporting prowess, with Jarrod excelling in Soccer at the University of Alabama and Joshua in iRacing where he is among the top five in the world.
John has an Education Degree, where he taught in his home suburb of Parramatta for over 20 years, and is an avid golfer.
NATHAN GREY – ASSISTANT COACH
Position: Assistant Coach
Coaching Career: Kyushu Electric Power Company (Japan), Melbourne Rebels (current)
Playing Career: Super Caps: 94 (Waratahs); Super Points: 100 (20t); Tests: 36; Test points: 20 (4t)
Upon finishing the 2005 season with the NSW Waratahs, Former Wallaby Nathan moved to Japan, where he played and coached with Kyushu Electric Power Company’s team, Kyuden, for five years. In 2011, Nathan joined the RaboDirect Rebels as Skills Coach for the clubs inaugural season. In October 2011, he was promoted to the role of Assistant Coach, under Damien Hill.
As a player, Nathan was known as an aggressive go forward centre with strong defensive skills, and played 35 Tests over seven years for the Wallabies throughout his international career. He was part of the successful 1999 Rugby World Cup campaign, as well as a member of the 2003 World Cup squad. With 94 caps, Nathan holds the record as the most capped centre in NSW Waratahs history, and was renowned for his team first ethos and professionalism throughout his playing career, traits that he has carried into his young coaching career.
Success followed for the father of four away from the Rugby environment, where he has a Bachelor in Business Management and a Masters in Marketing.
MATT COCKBAIN – ASSISTANT COACH
Position: Assistant Coach
Coaching Career: Queensland Reds, Melbourne University, Melbourne Rebels (Current)
Playing Career: Super Caps: 91 (Reds); Tests: 63; Test points: 5 (1t)
Former Wallaby Matt Cockbain has been a welcome addition to Victoria, since his move from Brisbane to be a player for the original Rebels during the 2007 Australian Rugby Championships.
Matt enjoyed a successful professional career, which included 91 matches for the Queensland Reds and 63 Tests for the Wallabies. During his international career he participated in two World Cups, including the successful 1999 campaign under Rod Macqueen.
After retirement, Matt transitioned into coaching and was appointed as the Reds’ lineout coach in 2007, before moving to Melbourne. Since then, Matt has taken up various coaching roles with Melbourne University Rugby Club and the Victorian State team.
In 2010, Matt formed part of the Rebel Rising coaching team and played a significant role in developing Rugby Union players within the Victorian community. It was through his work with grassroots Rugby and his technical expertise that Matt was appointed Assistant Coach of the RaboDirect Rebels for the 2012 season.
With the British and Irish Lions touring Melbourne in 2013, Matt will be looking to achieve similar feats from when he played in every match in the Wallabies’ triumph in 2001.
Matt is a qualified Civil Design Draftsman, and has worked as a Road Designer in Queensland whilst still a player.