Dan McKellar appointed head coach of the NSW Waratahs

The NSW Waratahs are pleased to announce that Dan McKellar will join the club as Head Coach for the next three years.

McKellar is an internationally highly respected coach and was the outstanding candidate for the position.

Having won the Super Rugby AU title with the ACT Brumbies in 2020, McKellar knows what it takes to build a winning culture and a positive pathways program.

McKellar has extensive experience at national, Super Rugby and domestic level, as well as international experience in Japan and the English Premier League.

“We are delighted to have a head coach of Dan McKellar’s ​​calibre at the Waratahs,” said CEO Paul Doorn.

“Dan has an impressive coaching resume and has achieved great success during his five-year tenure with the ACT Brumbies in Super Rugby.

“Dan will work closely with High Performance Director Simon Raiwalui and their partnership marks an exciting new frontier for the Waratahs.

“I am confident that the appointments of Dan and Simon will put the Waratahs on track to achieve sustained success in 2025 and beyond.”

After playing over 150 top-class games for Souths Rugby Club in Brisbane, McKellar moved into coaching at the club.

In 2011, he moved to Canberra to take up the position of Director of Coaching and Head Coach of the Tuggeranong Vikings, with whom he won two consecutive John I. Dent Cup titles in the 2011/12 season.

After a stint in Japan as forwards coach of the NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes in 2013, McKellar returned to the nation's capital the following year to join the Brumbies as the club's defensive and technical coach and then as head coach of the University of Canberra Vikings in the National Rugby Championships.

In 2018, McKellar was appointed head coach of the Brumbies and achieved considerable success over the following five years, including a semi-final appearance in 2019 and consecutive Super Rugby AU Grand Finals in 2020–21, winning the championship in 2020.

McKellar's talent has also been recognised at national level, where he served as assistant coach of the Wallabies from 2021-2023 before taking up his most recent position as head coach at the Leicester Tigers.

McKellar is excited to join the Waratahs and is motivated to help the state of NSW succeed.

“I am extremely excited to join the NSW Waratahs,” McKellar said.

“Rugby in NSW has a proud history spanning over 150 years and the Waratahs are the pinnacle of the state’s national rugby team.

“The club has not met expectations in 2024, but there are building blocks for improvement.

“I am motivated and passionate about delivering a much improved performance next season, consisting of consistent effort that will make the loyal Waratahs fanbase proud.”

McKellar will officially begin his tenure with the Waratahs in September 2024.

Coaching career

  • Souths Rugby Club: 2008–10 (Head Coach)
  • Tuggeranong Vikings: 2011-12 (Director of Coaching and Head Coach)
  • NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes: 2013 (Striker Coach)
  • ACT Brumbies: 2014–18 (Assistant Coach)
  • University of Canberra Vikings: 2014 (Head Coach)
  • ACT Brumbies: 2018–22 (Head Coach)
  • Australia: 2021–23 (assistant coach)
  • Leicester Tigers: 2023-24 (Head Coach)