Cameron Ciraldo

Cameron Ciraldo
Ciraldo (right) making a tackle while representing
Italy at the 2013 World Cup.
Personal information
Nickname Ciro, Cam
Born (1984-10-30) 30 October 1984
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height 194 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 104 kg (16 st 5 lb)
Position Second-row, Lock
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2005–07 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 19 1 0 0 4
2008–11 Newcastle Knights 43 4 0 0 16
2012–13 Penrith Panthers 32 1 0 0 4
Total 94 6 0 0 24
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2011–13 Italy 7 2 0 0 8
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
2016 Italy 3 2 0 1 67
Source: [1]

Cameron Ciraldo (born 30 October 1984 in Sydney, New South Wales) is an Italian Australian professional rugby league coach and former player who is the current head coach of the Italian national team and an assistant coach of the Penrith Panthers in the National Rugby League.

During his playing career, Ciraldo played for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, the Newcastle Knights, and the Penrith Panthers, all in the NRL, and was selected to represent Italy. He primarily played as a second row or lock.

Early life

Born in Sydney, New South Wales to parents Nick and Kelly,[2] Ciraldo is of Italian descent through his grandmother, who migrated from Italy as a child.[3] He played his junior rugby league for the Menai Roosters and St Joseph's.

Playing career

Ciraldo made his NRL debut for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks on 5 August 2005 in their round 22 game against the Melbourne Storm at Endeavour Field.

Ciraldo signed a 2-year deal with the Newcastle Knights on 19 October 2007.[4] On 23 March 2009, he broke his fibula in four places and dislocated his ankle while playing against the Sharks at Toyota Stadium.[5] He was escorted from the field with his ankle rotated at approximately 90 degrees;[6] the injury was described as "one of the most sickening injuries on a football field".[7] On 10 September 2009, Ciraldo re-signed with the Knights on a 2-year deal.[8]

On 17 August 2011, Ciraldo signed a 2-year deal with the Penrith Panthers.[9] He played for the Windsor Wolves, the Panthers' feeder team, in their 8-36 loss to the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the 2013 NSW Cup Grand Final on 6 October 2013.[10]

Ciraldo retired at the end of the 2013 season.

Representative career

In October 2009, Ciraldo represented Italy in the Australian Mediterranean (Aus-Med) Shield at Marconi Stadium in Sydney, a tournament made up completely of Australian residents, such as Blake Austin, John Skandalis, and Jarrod Sammut.[11] Italy's match against Malta was Ciraldo's first time taking the field since breaking his leg in March 2009.[12] Ciraldo was named in the Italian squad for the 2009 European Cup, also held in October,[13] but was unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.

In April 2011, Ciraldo was named as vice-captain for Italy in their 2013 World Cup qualifying campaign in October 2011.[14][15] He made his Test debut against Russia on 15 October 2011, scoring a try in Italy's 92-6 win. He played in all three of Italy's matches. For the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, Ciraldo was again named as vice-captain of the team.[16][17] He played in Italy's 15-14 upset over England in their pre-tournament friendly match,[18] and featured in all three of their World Cup group matches, scoring a try in their game against Scotland.

Coaching career

Following his retirement from his playing career, Ciraldo became the assistant coach of the Penrith Panthers' NYC team in 2014, under head coach Trent Barrett. On 5 April 2014, Ciraldo was appointed as assistant coach of the Italian national team, also under head coach Barrett.[19]

Ciraldo was promoted to head coach of the Panthers' NYC team in 2015. That year, his team won 20 of their 24 regular season games to claim the minor premiership, before going on to win the Grand Final.[20] The following year, the team won 18 of their 24 regular season games (in addition to 2 draws) to claim the minor premiership for the second consecutive year. However, they were unsuccessful in winning back-to-back premierships, losing 30-28 to the Sydney Roosters after leading 28-6 at halftime.[21] Ciraldo was named as coach in the NYC Team of the Year in both 2015 and 2016.[22][23]

In May 2016, Ciraldo was named as head coach of the Italian nation team.[24] Assistant coach Leo Epifania mentored the team during their 2016 Mediterranean Cup match against Lebanon in June, but Ciraldo returned as head coach for their 2017 Rugby League World Cup qualifying matches in October 2016.[25] The Italian team defeated Russia in the repechage round to qualify for the 2017 World Cup.[26]

In 2017, Ciraldo will be promoted to assistant coach of the Panthers' NRL team to work under head coach Anthony Griffin.[27]

Personal life

Ciraldo married his wife Kimberly Rendall in October 2007 at St Andrew's church in Cronulla.[4] Ciraldo was a finalist in the Sexiest Man in League contest for 2006, placing third with 12.5% of the vote.


  1. "Cameron Ciraldo - Career Stats & Summary". Rugby League Project.
  2. Carayannis, Michael (17 November 2013). "Rugby League World Cup: Cameron Ciraldo in major health scare". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  3. Dillon, Robert (11 October 2009). "Far flung Knights take to the world stage". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 14 October 2009.
  4. 1 2 Keeble, Brett (20 October 2007). "Ciraldo ties knot for Knights". Newcastle Herald.
  5. Keeble, Brett (25 August 2009). "Cameron Ciraldo's brave comeback". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  6. Riccio, David (12 April 2009). "Ciraldo has hopes of '09 return". Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
  7. "Cameron Ciraldo nearing return from horror injury". Courier Mail. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  8. Dillon, Robert (10 September 2009). "Cameron Ciraldo cements future at Knights". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  9. Keeble, Brett (17 August 2011). "Cameron Ciraldo to join Penrith". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  10. "Windsor Wolves team to play the Sharks in the NSW Cup Grand Final". 1 October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  11. "Aus-Med Shield Tournament". 6 October 2009. Archived from the original on 9 October 2009.
  12. Keeble, Brett (16 October 2009). "Ciraldo gets career back on its feet with low-key Italian job". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  13. "Italians aim to step-up". 15 October 2009. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011.
  14. O'Neill, Matthew (6 April 2011). "Minichiello to lead Italy in European Qualifiers for 2013 RLWC". Archived from the original on 8 April 2011.
  15. "European World Cup Qualifier squads announced". 23 September 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  16. Franchini, Tiziano (20 September 2013). "Italy Official Squad for the RLWC2013". Federazione Italiana Rugby League. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  17. "Rugby League World Cup 2013". 24 September 2013.
  18. Howe, Ash (19 October 2013). "England 14 Italy 15: match report - Steve McNamara's men slump to embarrassing defeat in World Cup warm-up". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  19. "Rugby League: Trent Barrett named Italy's new head coach". Sky Sports. 5 April 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  20. "Penrith Panthers beat Manly 34-18 to win under-20s title on NRL grand final day". ABC. 4 October 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  21. "Sydney Roosters stage epic comeback against Penrith Panthers to win Holden Cup". Sydney Morning Herald. 2 October 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  22. "2015 Holden Cup Team of the Year". 14 September 2015.
  23. "2016 Holden Cup Team of the Year announced". 5 September 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  24. Franchini, Tiziano (17 May 2016). "Cameron Ciraldo è il nuovo allenatore dell'Italia League" (in Italian). Federazione Italiana Rugby League. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  25. "Italy and Lebanon Name Mediterranean Cup Squads". Rugby League European Federation. 9 June 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2016. Italy will be under Leo Epifania, the former Western Suburbs and Illawarra Steelers player, who will be assistant coach to Cameron Ciraldo for this autumn’s European World Cup qualifiers.
  26. "Italy claim final place in RLWC draw". 5 November 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  27. Brady, Jack (8 September 2016). "Ciraldo's progression on the backburner". Retrieved 30 September 2016.
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