Brad Fittler

Playing Career

Vital Statistics

Full Name
Bradley Scott Fittler
Nickname(s)
Freddy
Born
Saturday, 5th February, 1972
Current Age
52 years and 114 days
Place Of Birth
Auburn, New South Wales, Australia

Awards & Accolades

Dally M Centre Of The Year
1992, 1993
Dally M Lock Of The Year
1994
Nokia Provan Summons Medal
1997
RLW Player of the Year
1997
Dally M Five-Eighth Of The Year
1998, 1999, 2002
Dally M Captain Of The Year
1999
Golden Boot Award
2000
National Rugby League Hall Of Fame
2008
NSWRL Hall Of Fame
2017

Biography

Penrith’s first homegrown Test captain Brad Fittler was also the first player to graduate from an Australian Schoolboys team to a senior Australian rugby league team in consecutive years (1989-90). Fittler's trademark sidestep and 100 kg frame quickly earned him the reputation as one of the most feared attacking players in the game. Fittler was the centre of a selection storm during the 1989 semi-final series when coach Ron Willey preferred to play him at five-eighth ahead of veterans Chris Mortimer and Brad Izzard. In 1990 he became the youngest player in State of Origin history (18 years 114 days, since bettered by Ben Ikin) and the youngest ever Kangaroo tourist (18 years 229 days). A try-scorer in Penrith's 1990 grand final loss to Canberra, the 1991 premiership decider saw him set up a crucial try for Brad Izzard that provided the turning point in the Panthers’ grand final success. Selected for the tour of Papua New Guinea, he missed Penrith's loss in the World Club Challenge but played in both Tests at lock. In 1992 he stood down from the Second Test against Great Britain due to the death of close friend Ben Alexander but returned for the Ashes decider in Brisbane. A member of Australia's 1992 World Cup squad Fittler excelled in the five-eighth role and played a great match in Australia's 10-6 win despite having his cheekbone smashed in a tackle. He played in 6 matches for NSW, 4 Tests, 13 tour games, a World Cup final and won a premiership all before his 21st birthday. Fittler played alongside Mal Meninga in all three Tests against NZ in 1993 but following his move to lock with the Panthers, found himself in that position for the one-off Test against France at P’matta Stadium in 1994. Fittler was close to being the best Australian forward on his second Kangaroo Tour, playing in all four Tests and winning the man-of-the-match award in Australia’s vital Second Test win over Great Britain. He returned from the tour as Penrith's most capped Test player but chose to leave the club when the Panthers joined Super League in 1995. Despite captaining NSW to a shock 3-0 loss in the State of Origin series in 1995 he was named Australian Test captain for the Trans Tasman series. Fittler produced a dominant display in the whitewashing of NZ in three Tests (the Kiwi captain was Fittler’s Penrith teammate Gary Freeman - the first time opposing Test captains played with the same club) before leading Australia (sans Super League players) to a 16-8 World Cup win at the end of the year. Joining former coach and mentor Phil Gould at Easts on the richest contract in rugby league history in 1996 Fittler led NSW in a 3-0 series win over Queensland before captaining his country against Fiji. Injury ruled him out of the ARL’s 1997 rep season and he surrendered the Blues and Australian Test captaincy to Laurie Daley in the interest of a unified competition the following year. In early 1999 Fittler led Australia to victory in the ANZac Day Test after recapturing the captaincy at a time when he was rightly regarded as the best player in the world. In 2000 he capped a hectic year (leading NSW to a State of Origin whitewash and Australia in the one-off Test win over NZ) by captaining the Roosters in the grand final loss to Brisbane and Australia to World Cup victory in England. The following year, after 13 seasons competing at the highest levels of the game, the edge appeared to go off Fittler’s competitiveness. In June he announced his planned retirement from representative football – his plan, after fulfilling that year’s representative commitments, was to concentrate on winning a premiership with the Roosters. After suffering defeat in his ‘final’ State of Origin match Fittler captained Australia to Test wins against NZ and Papua New Guinea (the latter played as a prelude to the Kangaroo Tour). As Australian captain Fittler caught much of the backlash over the ARL’s immediate decision to cancel the tour in light of the September 11 terrorist attacks. While the decision to go ahead with a shortened tour publicly left him out to dry, Fittler handled the situation with great maturity and dignity. Australia’s back-to-the-wall Ashes victory was a worthy swansong to a marvelous Test career. In 2002 he duly captained the Roosters to a grand final victory over the Warriors and while Phil Gould recalled the veteran into NSW’s successful State of Origin team in 2004 for a last bow in representative football he suffered grand final defeat in the final two seasons of his club career (against former club Penrith in 2003 and the Bulldogs in 2004). Brad Fittler retired with the second highest number of first grade games to his credit (336) and with 25 internationals as captain (20 Tests and 5 World Cup matches) which is second only to the great Clive Churchill. One of the great players of the modern game he accepted the position as assistant coach to Chris Anderson at the Roosters.
- ALAN WHITICKER

Playing Career Statistics

All statistics shown in this section are based only on data available in the RLP database, and are not necessarily a complete and/or 100% accurate representation of a player's career. This information should be used as a guide only. If you see a question mark (?), it denotes that the figure is not available.

To view a list of corresponding matches, click on the List button.

Competitions

Competition   App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
NSWRL/ARL/NRL Premiership 336 122 14   10 526 211 117 8 62.80% List
NSWRL/ARL/NRL Finals 32 12 -   - 48 18 14 0 56.25% List
Challenge Cup AU 10 2 -   - 8 6 4 0 60.00% List
State of Origin 31 8 -   2 34 17 14 0 54.84% List
Tour Matches Australia 34 18 1   - 74 33 1 0 97.06% List
City vs Country 7 1 -   - 4 3 4 0 42.86% List
World Cup 13 6 -   - 24 12 1 0 92.31% List
Test Series 14 2 1   1 5 11 2 1 78.57% List
The Ashes 8 1 1   - 12 6 2 0 75.00% List
Anzac Tests 3 3 -   - 12 2 1 0 66.67% List
Tri-Nations 3 2 -   - 8 2 1 0 66.67% List
Anzac Cup 3 2 -   - 8 2 1 0 66.67% List
World Club Challenge 1 1 -   - 4 1 0 0 100.00% List


International

Test Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1991-96, 1998-01 40 19 1   1 79 34 5 1 85.00% List

International Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1991-1997 1 - -   - - 1 0 0 100.00% List

World Cup Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1991-92, 1995, 2000 13 6 -   - 24 12 1 0 92.31% List


Representative

Australia - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
NSW 1990-96, 1998-01, 2004 31 8 -   2 34 17 14 0 54.84% List
NSW City 1991-97 7 1 -   - 4 3 4 0 42.86% List
Overall1990-2004 38 9 0   2 38 20 18 0 52.63% List


Club Career

NSWRL/ARL/NRL Premiership - By Year

Team Season App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Penrith NSWRL 1989 4 1 -   - 4 1 3 0 25.00% List
Penrith NSWRL 1990 21 8 5 / 9 55.56% - 42 15 5 1 71.43% List
Penrith NSWRL 1991 19 3 -   - 12 16 2 1 84.21% List
Penrith NSWRL 1992 20 6 -   1 25 10 10 0 50.00% List
Penrith NSWRL 1993 19 4 0 / 1 0.00% - 16 6 13 0 31.58% List
Penrith NSWRL 1994 21 6 -   - 24 10 9 2 47.62% List
Penrith ARL 1995 15 3 -   1 13 7 8 0 46.67% List
Sydney City ARL 1996 21 5 -   - 20 15 5 1 71.43% List
Sydney City ARL 1997 21 5 -   1 21 14 6 1 66.67% List
Sydney City NRL 1998 25 17 -   - 68 18 7 0 72.00% List
Sydney City NRL 1999 21 11 2 / 3 66.67% 1 49 14 7 0 66.67% List
Sydney NRL 2000 27 9 -   - 36 16 11 0 59.26% List
Sydney NRL 2001 25 13 -   1 53 12 12 1 48.00% List
Sydney NRL 2002 25 9 0 / 2 0.00% 1 37 19 5 1 76.00% List
Sydney NRL 2003 26 12 5 / 9 55.56% 3 61 18 8 0 69.23% List
Sydney NRL 2004 26 10 2 / 2 100.00% 1 45 20 6 0 76.92% List

NSWRL/ARL/NRL Premiership - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Penrith 1989-95 119 31 5 / 10 50.00% 2 136 65 50 4 54.62% List
Sydney City 1996-04 217 91 9 / 16 56.25% 8 390 146 67 4 67.28% List
Overall1989-2004 336 122 14 / 26 53.85% 10 526 211 117 8 62.80% List

Your Say

  • josh
    29/06/2015

    fantastic player,heart of a lion,skill of a tradesman...worked his way to the top and achieved everything possible out of his sport.A true australian champion and inspiration to all coming through the ranks.

  • Dan Keating
    23/07/2015

    One of the most influential players ever. Even though he is a BLUE!! He sent chills down your spine every time he touched the ball at origin level. One of the only players i have ever seen retire from SOO level to let younger players blood through when he was quite capable of playing on. NSW could learn from these tactics today!!!! I think Brad made a huge sacrifice for the future of his state back then, only for it to be made a mockery of today by the NSW selecters. Disappointing........ Not that i really care. GO QLD.

  • Anonymous
    24/06/2016

    One the greatest players of all time

  • john reilly
    07/08/2016

    I THINK THIS GUY WAS TRAIL BLAZER NO ONE KNOWS HOW GOOG HE WAS TIME WILL TELL .............HE IS STILL DOING A GREAT FOR THE CODE

  • jake
    04/01/2017

    Best right step in the game

  • graham
    11/06/2017

    brilliant footballer up there with the best ever

  • Anonymous
    16/06/2017

    by watching brad fittler as an australian footballer i always admired him,,I would like to become as fittler,

  • Jack Muir
    29/06/2017

    My favorite player of all time and not a bad commentator either. I love how he is space cadet. Love the yarn where he turned up to Penrith preseason on a scooter eating a pie.

  • Wayne
    06/05/2018

    Should of stayed at the club that gave him his start but choose to follow Gus Gould to the Roosters , he always refers to himself as Rooster he seems to forget his days as a panther

  • Anonymous
    02/04/2019

    Should already be a immortal

  • Anonymous
    31/10/2019

    One off the greats! Great vision and that cut out pass ! Joey and Brad together were dynamite !
    Good to see Freddy still doing well for the Blues.

  • Anonymous
    25/03/2020

    Brad fittler should be a immortal

  • Anonymous
    28/08/2021

    Shoukd be a immortal

  • Josh d
    03/10/2021

    quote: "Brad Fittler is a freak.And freaks can do anything".

  • Anonymous
    10/10/2021

    Should be a immortal

  • Vinni
    09/01/2023

    St Mary’s High 2760. He lived next door to a good friend of mine in Werrington 2747 NSW. Top Bloke.

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Contributions: Rugby League Tables, Andrew Ferguson, Shawn Dollin, Alan Katzmann, Greg Fiveash, AJ Lucantonio, Paul Carter, Max Turner, Steven Russo, Cymru RL, Bill Bates

Sources: David Middleton's Rugby League Yearbook (1987-88 to present), Match Video