Everything you need to know about new St George Illawarra Dragons NRL stand-in coach Ryan Carr

Everything you need to know about new Dragons coach Ryan Carr: How stand-in St George boss has Broncos star Adam Reynolds to thank for his biggest break in the NRL

  • Ryan Carr was a quality halfback graded by Rabbitohs
  • Had a pre season shoot-out with Adam Reynolds in 2012
  • Carr is interim coach for Dragons for remainder of season

Interim Dragons coach Ryan Carr could have carved out a career in the NRL – if it wasn’t for Adam Reynolds.

The pair jostled for the opportunity to replace Chris Sandow as the Rabbitohs halfback ahead of the 2012 season – and it was the local junior covered in tattoos who was eventually handed the number seven jersey.

Reynolds went onto win a premiership two years later and became a club great at Redfern, but acknowledged Carr ‘pushed him all the way’.

Before arriving in Sydney, Carr turned out for the Cowboys at under-20s level and played for Redcliffe in the Queensland Cup, as well as getting in some lower-grade footy with Wests Tigers before shifting to Souths.   

‘It was me or him who was going to get Chrissy’s spot,’ Reynolds told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Ryan Carr was a talented halfback on the books of South Sydney before an injury ended his NRL dreams

Carr and Adam Reynolds battled it out for the Rabbitohs halfback spot ahead of the 2012 NRL season - with the latter going on to win the job and lead Souths to the 2014 premiership

Carr and Adam Reynolds battled it out for the Rabbitohs halfback spot ahead of the 2012 NRL season – with the latter going on to win the job and lead Souths to the 2014 premiership

‘We tried to get the best out of one another, and I was the lucky one to get the call-up. He could have easily been in the position I’m in.’

Reynolds – now the Broncos halfback – added that even back in 2012, Carr was a ‘student of the game who had great ideas’ and now has an ‘opportunity to do something he’s dreamed about.’

Following the sliding doors moment, Carr played NSW Cup with South Sydney as he bided his time for an opportunity in first grade.

A career ending injury scuppered those plans, with Carr quickly turning his attention to coaching. 

Stints at the Rabbitohs and Sharks in a backroom capacity followed before in 2018 Carr was appointed head coach of Mounties, who at the time were a feeder club to the Raiders.

Next for Carr was Featherstone Rovers in the English Championship as head coach, before NRL clubs again came calling.

Covid stalled his plans to return home before the 34-year-old coached the Eels at NSW Cup level last year and also spent half the 2022 season as an assistant to Parramatta NRL coach Brad Arthur.

Reynolds went on to become a club great at Redfern, winning a premiership in 2014 - but acknowledged Carr pushed him to new levels when both were trying to break into the NRL

Reynolds went on to become a club great at Redfern, winning a premiership in 2014 – but acknowledged Carr pushed him to new levels when both were trying to break into the NRL

When the Dragons reached out to him to work under Anthony Griffin this year, Carr was on the move again. 

With Griffin sacked on Tuesday, Carr is now in the hot seat for the Red V for the remainder of 2023.

And while he won’t take over permanently, he has already left his stamp on the team ahead of Friday’s clash with the Roosters, reinstating strike centre Zac Lomax and hooker Jacob Liddle.

The Dragons have so far endured a disastrous campaign, with just two wins from their opening 10 matches this season, sitting in 16th spot on the NRL ladder.

Carr will need to steady the ship at the joint venture club – and quickly. Time will tell if it has already begun to sink. 

 

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