This coach represented England and Great Britain in rugby league

Martin Gleeson: Ten things you should know about the England attack coach

Former rugby league star Martin Gleeson joined the England coaching set-up in 2021…

Ten things you should know about Martin Gleeson

1. Martin Gleeson was born on 25 May 1980 in Wigan, England.

He started in rugby as a league player and he competed for Huddersfield Giants, St Helens, Warrington Wolves, Wigan Warriors, Hull and Salford City Reds.

2. Gleeson also represented Great Britain and England before retiring in 2014.

3. His coaching career started in league at Salford and then he moved to union to join Wasps as attack coach for the start of the 2019-20 season.

Gleeson had just two years of experience in the code when he was recruited for England in 2021.

4. Gleeson’s family emigrated to Australia when he was ten and its where he played his junior rugby league.

5. Brian Noble coached Gleeson and said England have a “stellar signing”. He told The Telegraph: “Eddie Jones has made a decision to be radical by appointing Glees and I think England rugby union will benefit massively from it. They have got a stellar signing.”

6. Gleeson’s brother, Mark, and cousin, Sean, both also played rugby league.

7. He has spoken of the influence of Shaun Edwards‘s success in his decision to switch to union too.

8. Wasps head coach Lee Blackett has spoken about Gleeson’s energy at a club. He told the i paper: “‘Glees’ will hit you with his main point immediately and he will convince you in two minutes this is the way to play. Gleeson just has this way of convincing players. His body language and everything he is saying is driving positivity.”

9. Gleeson has had some controversies throughout his career. He was suspended from rugby for three years, with half that period suspended, in 2011 for testing positive for a banned substance, he was convicted of drink driving and found guilty of betting against his own team.

He said he developed depression during his suspension and told Rugby League World in 2013: “Depression hit pretty hard actually, and I just didn’t speak to anyone. I didn’t answer my phone; I turned it off for weeks at a time. Didn’t leave my house, didn’t open my post for months. It was bad.”

10. He has since spoken of learning from those experiences, saying: “It was a long time ago, but I made a couple of big mistakes.

“I’ve processed it, I’m comfortable with it, but I would say the most important thing is how you learn from them and how you get yourself moving forward.

“Something like that can go one of two ways – it can finish you off or shape you and give you more drive and purpose – which is the route I took.

“It drove me through the last decade, from returning to playing, into my coaching career and to where I am now.”

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