Everything you need to know about new Dragons coach Ryan Carr: How St George’s replacement boss has Broncos star Adam Reynolds to thank for his biggest NRL break
- Ryan Carr was a Rabbitohs rated quality halfback
- Had a preseason shootout with Adam Reynolds in 2012
- Carr is the Dragons’ interim coach for the remainder of the season
Interim Dragons coach Ryan Carr could have carved out an NRL career – but for Adam Reynolds.
The pair jostled for the opportunity to replace Chris Sandow as Rabbitohs half-back ahead of the 2012 season – and it was the tattoo-covered local junior who ultimately received the number seven jersey.
Reynolds won a premiership two years later and became a big club at Redfern, but acknowledged Carr “pushed him all the way”.
Prior to arriving in Sydney, Carr featured for the Cowboys at Under-20 level and played for Redcliffe in the Queensland Cup, as well as in lower grade football with the Wests Tigers before moving to the Souths.
“It was me or him who was going to get Chrissy’s place,” Reynolds told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Ryan Carr was a talented half-back on the books for South Sydney before injury ended his NRL dreams
Carr and Adam Reynolds battled for the Rabbitohs half-back spot ahead of the 2012 NRL season – the latter winning the job and leading Souths to the premiership in 2014.
“We tried to get the best out of each other and I was lucky to have been called up. He could easily have been in the position I am in.
Reynolds – now the Broncos halfback – added that even in 2012 Carr was a “student of the game who had good ideas” and now has a “opportunity to do something he dreamed of.
After the sliding doors moment, Carr played the NSW Cup with South Sydney as he bided his time for a freshman opportunity.
A career-ending injury shattered those plans, as Carr soon turned to coaching.
Stints with the Rabbitohs and Sharks as a backstage player followed before in 2018 Carr was named head coach of the Mounties, who at the time were a feeder club to the Raiders.
Next for Carr was Featherstone Rovers in the English Premier League as head coach, before NRL clubs returned again.
Covid stalled his homecoming plans before the 34-year-old coached the Eels to NSW Cup level last year and also spent half of the 2022 season as an assistant. Parramatta NRL coach, Brad Arthur.
Reynolds became a big club at Redfern, winning a premiership in 2014 – but acknowledged Carr pushed him to new levels when the two were trying to break into the NRL.
When the Dragons contacted 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 mark on the team ahead of Friday’s clash with the Roosters, returning to strike center Zac Lomax and hooker Jacob Liddle.
The Dragons have endured a disastrous campaign so far, with just two wins in their first 10 games this season, sitting 16th on the NRL ladder.
Carr will have to stabilize the ship at the joint venture club – and quickly. Time will tell if it has already started to sink.