Former Great Britain coach and proud Australian David Waite speaks to Phil Clarke on Super League Supermen
By Angela Powers. Last Updated: March 29, 2013 1:02pm
An Australian as Great Britain head coach?
Back at the turn of the millennium it seemed a modern development too far for the British game. Surely coaching the national side was a job for British-born and bred men?
David Waite's arrival in the UK turned all traditional thinking on its head. Here was a man who'd played in Australia at the highest level, had coached one of the biggest clubs in the Aussie game, St George, and whose pedigree as a communicator was unrivalled.
But to coach a national side required more than good leadership and a track record, according to some critics...how could he possibly have that extra crucial quality - national pride?
Well, it didn't take long for that debate to subside. In his first game in November 2001, Waite led Great Britain to a win over the Australia. In 2002 they actually lifted a trophy in the Test series against New Zealand.
In this week's Super League Super Stars, Waite talks to Phil Clarke about his journey in league from club to country honours, then to the international job in the UK, then to France where he oversaw the emergence of the Catalan Dragons into Super League.
Phil Clarke was manager of the British side while Waite was head coach, and he reminds his former colleague of some of the more painful times - like in July 2002 when Great Britain flew to Sydney for a one-off Test and were humiliated 64-10.