Rugby Biography

Matt Cockbain only took up rugby union at Innisfail State High School when he was 16. Within a year he was representing the North Queensland region at senior school boy level. He later went onto represent Queensland under 21’s from the country region for two seasons, before being lured to Brisbane by Tony Darcy in 1994.
Matt joined GPS and played in the 1996 premiership side that beat a star studded Souths outfit containing the likes of Horan, Little, Crowley and Kefu. Known for his aggressive defence, work rate and aerial skills Matt showed that he had the potential to play at the highest level.

At the end of that year, Matt toured to the UK with a Queensland development squad and impressed Coach John Connolly with strong performances at Flanker and No8.

He was a Reds regular at lock in the Super 12 1997, and was rewarded with his first run-on test selection alongside John Eales against the All Blacks after earning his first test cap off the bench against France at Ballymore.

After strong form in Super 12 1998, Matt cemented his place in the Test team at blind side flanker and was a member of the Wallaby team which won all three test against New Zealand that year.

1999 again saw Matt playing regularly with the Wallabies. After a small hiccup with injury at the beginning of the World Cup that year, Matt regained his starting position and went onto win the ultimate prize with Rod MacQueens’ men.

He earned a total of 63 Test caps and played 91 games for Queensland before finishing his career in Australia after the 2003 Rugby World Cup final against England. Matt played professionally in Wales for the Cardiff Blues (where his younger brother Brent has played 25 test for Wales) and then later in Japan for World Corporation.

John Connolly put out a final call for Matt to join the World Cup squad in late 2007 as cover for injured players, but he was not required. Matt retired at the end of 2007 after playing for the Melbourne Rebels side in the now defunct ARC (Australian Rugby Championship) where they were runners up in the competition.

After a period coaching at the Queensland Reds, Matt worked with Melbourne University Rugby Football Club,  and launched Matt Cockbain Rugby Clinic (MCRC) enabling Matt and his staff to work with teams to improve their core rugby skills. Accepting a role as Rebel Rugby Coaching Ambassador with the Melbourne Rebels in their inaugural year in 2011. Matt was promoted to Assistant Coach for the RaboDirect Melbourne Rebels in 2012 and completed 3 season with the club. Matt was a Technical Advisor for the Flying Fijian national team, touring Europe in 2014 and playing Test matches against, France, Wales and USA. Matt has continued to work with Fijian Rugby Union squads through 2015.