|Occupation:||Australian Rules Footballer|
|Birth Day:||February 5, 1972|
|Birth Place:||New South Wales, Australia|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He joined the Penrith Panthers in 1989 and remained with the club until 1995 before joining the Sydney Roosters.
Fittler was born in Auburn, New South Wales, Australia. He grew up with the 2 of his siblings, Nathan and Kathleen Fittler. He played junior rugby league for a number of clubs in the Parramatta JRL District including, Sadleir Bulldogs, Dayments, Ashcroft Stallions and Mt. Pritchard Community Club (Mounties) before moving to Cambridge Park in the Penrith JRL District . While attending Ashcroft High School, St Dominic's College then later, McCarthy Catholic Senior High School Emu Plains, Fittler played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 1988 and 1989.
Brad Fittler's first grade career started in 1989 at the Penrith Panthers while he was still attending McCarthy Catholic Senior High School in the western suburbs of Sydney.
Fittler played in the centres in Penrith's 18-14 loss to the Canberra Raiders in the 1990 Grand Final and at the end of the season was selected for Australia and went on the 1990 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France. Fittler did not play in a test on the tour, but played in 8 tour games and scored 8 tries.
He was selected for Kangaroo Tours in 1990, 1994 and 2001 and played in the World Cups of 1992, 1995 and 2000. Fittler was selected for the Australian team to compete in the end of season 1999 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against New Zealand he captained the Kangaroos at lock forward in their 22-20 victory. Early in his career Fittler struggled with discipline problems, but he matured into a fine leader. He captained Australia in 20 Tests, winning 17 and losing 3, and in a further 5 victories in the 2000 World Cup. He also captained NSW in 14 State of Origin matches, winning 8 and losing 6.
In 1991 he was part the Panthers' premiership winning-side. Fittler played in the centres as Penrith, under the coaching of Phil Gould won their first ever premiership. At the end of the season he was selected for the Kangaroos five game tour of Papua New Guinea and made his test debut for Australia, playing at lock in Australia's two test series victory over the Papua New Guinea Kumuls, scoring two tries on debut at the Danny Leahy Oval in Goroka. Fittler played in all five games during the two-week tour and scored 4 tries.
During the 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand, he helped Australia retain The Ashes. Fittler, like the rest of the Penrith club, endured a tough 1992 season due to the death of his best mate, up-and-coming halfback/hooker Ben Alexander, the younger brother of Penrith captain Greg Alexander. Following Alexander's death in a car accident, Penrith's form dropped off in the second half of the season with the defending premiers finishing out of the finals in 9th place. As a result of Alexander's death which happened between the first and second Ashes tests, Fittler was left out of the second test team by his own request, but returned to the team in the deciding match in Brisbane which Australia won 16-10 to retain The Ashes.
The 1993 NSWRL season again saw the Panthers struggle, finishing 12th with a 7-15 record for the year. Fittler played all three games for NSW in their 2-1 Origin series win over Queensland, before playing in all three mid-year tests against New Zealand with Australia winning the series 2-0 after the first test at the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland ended in a 14-all draw thanks to a late field goal by stand in Australian captain Laurie Daley.
Penrith improved to a 10-10-2 record and an 8th-place finish in the 1994 NSWRL season, despite the late season walk-out of Phil Gould (who was moving to coach the Sydney City Roosters after falling out with the Penrith club board) who was replaced with Fittler's 1991 premiership team mate Royce Simmons. During the year he was selected at lock for a test against France at Sydney's Parramatta Stadium (won 58-0 by Australia) and at the end of the season he was selected for his second Kangaroo Tour. Fittler played at lock in all four tests against Great Britain (3) and France (1) on the tour, winning man of the match in Australia's 38-8 win in the second test at Old Trafford in Manchester to keep the Ashes series alive. The Kangaroos went on to win the third test 23-4 to retain the Ashes before demolishing France with a world record 74-0 win in Béziers. Fittler played in 12 games on tour (one as a replacement), scoring two tries. He was also named as Man of the Match playing at lock in Australia's non-test international played against Wales in Cardiff, scoring one of his tours two tries in the wet conditions (his only other try would come in the tours 3rd last game in France when he scored against a Catalans Seclection in a 60-16 win at the Stade Gilbert Brutus in Perpignan).
By 1995 Fittler was the world's highest-paid rugby league player, reportedly earning $1.05 million for the season. This was during the period of the Super League war when player payments rose to previously unheard of levels as both the Australian Rugby League (ARL), backed by media billionaire Kerry Packer, and the rebel Super League (SL), backed by News Ltd., signed up players for (in some cases) double or triple their previous contracts. Fittler signed with the Australian Rugby League.
At the end of the 1995 ARL season, Fittler was an automatic choice to captain Australia in the 1995 Rugby League World Cup. Although the Kangaroos suffered a shock 20-16 loss to England in the opening game of the tournament at Wembley, and had a nervous, 30-20 win over New Zealand in extra-time in the Semi-final in Huddersfield after scores had been locked at 20-all at the end of regulation time, Fittler would lead Australia to its 8th World Cup success (and 5th in a row) with an 18-8 win over England in front of 66,540 fans at Wembley.
In 1996, he joined the Sydney City Roosters where he played nine seasons, captaining them to the 2002 NRL Grand Final victory. Fittler retired as the second most experienced first grader, behind Terry Lamb (349), having played 336 games.
In 1999, Fittler was dropped onto the front lawn of a Sydney police station by a taxi driver after a night out. A police source described Fittler as "the drunkest human being ever".
In 2000, Fittler was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in rugby league.
In club competition, Fittler captained the Sydney Roosters to the 2000 NRL Grand Final, their first in twenty seasons, a Premiership in 2002 and successive grand final appearances in 2003 and 2004, before retiring at the end of 2004. Having won the 2002 NRL Premiership, the Roosters traveled to England to play the 2003 World Club Challenge against Super League champions, St Helens R.F.C.. Fittler captained at five-eighth, scoring a try in Sydney's victory.
Fittler began his media career by co-hosting NRL Deluxe, a streaming video show that aired on Mondays and Thursdays available via Bigpond TV. A year after his retirement, in 2005, Fittler released his book, Freddy: The Brad Fittler Story. Brad has also starred in two Telstra Next G TV advertisements.
Fittler remains the youngest NSW State of Origin player (18 years 114 days) and was once the youngest Kangaroo representative (18 years 247 days) until Israel Folau made his debut in late 2007.
On 9 July 2007, Roosters coach Chris Anderson quit the club, just 48 hours after the team lost 56–0 to the Manly Sea Eagles, their second worst ever loss. Fittler took over the coaching from Round 18, in what was initially for a short term until the end of the 2007 season. The Roosters, who were sitting near the bottom of the competition and struggling with form, turned a corner with Fittler as coach as they went on to post some impressive wins. His first match was against his former mentor, Ricky Stuart coaching the Cronulla Sharks. The Roosters won the match 23–12. His second match was against the Newcastle Knights and again the team was successful 20–17.
On 27 July 2007, Fittler's coaching career took a massive leap. The Roosters defeated the Melbourne Storm (front runners of the Premiership) 26–16, with the Storm scoring two late consolation tries. Former Roosters coach, Phil Gould remarked after the Melbourne game "I've always had great confidence that "Freddie" would be successful at anything he turned his mind to. If he truly wants to be a coach, he'll be a bloody good one... I think in the end he was drawn to it and, to me, that's a coach. You don't wake up one day and say, 'I want to be a coach'. You are drawn to it. It compels you. I see and hear this in Freddie these days." Melbourne ultimately went on to win the title, which was later stripped due to salary cap breaches.
Fittler's undefeated streak as a coach was broken on 19 August 2007 when the Roosters lost 22-18 to the Gold Coast Titans. The following week, in the penultimate round of the regular season, the Roosters lost to the eventual 2007 wooden spooners, the Penrith Panthers, 28–22.
On 21 August 2007, the Sydney Roosters signed Brad Fittler as their full-time Head Coach until the 2010 season.
In February 2008, Fittler was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (1908–2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia.
On 20 June 2009, it was reported in the Townsville Bulletin that, a day earlier, a drunken Fittler had tried to gain access to the wrong hotel room while wearing only shorts. The incident occurred at the Holiday Inn in Townsville at 3am. Fittler consequently fined himself A$10,000 and apologised for his behaviour at a televised press conference.
On 18 July 2009, following an ongoing season of unrelenting disappointment at the Roosters, the media was informed that in 2010 Brad Fittler would not be part of the coaching staff at the Sydney Roosters, reportedly before he was. Indeed, the Roosters took out the 2009 wooden spoon and a clean-out of the club began. He was replaced by Brian Smith.
In 2009, Fittler fined himself $10,000 after police were called to Townsville's Holiday Inn after two female guests reported a "creepy man" with a "hairy chest" – wearing only shorts – trying to get into their room. Police arrived at 3.15am to find a "very drunk" Fittler still outside the room.
In 2010 Fittler was linked with a move to the London-based Super League side Harlequins, but this ultimately did not eventuate.
In 2010, Fittler joined the Nine Network. In 2010 and 2011, he was a part of The NRL Footy Show, as a co-host. Also, since 2010, he has co-hosted The Sunday Footy Show program. In 2016, he has a role in The NRL Rookie.
As a tribute to Fittler's contribution to the NSW team, the Brad Fittler Medal is named in his honour, awarded to the best NSW player after each series victory by NSW. However, it is only awarded after NSW have won a series; and so was not awarded from 2005 till 2014, Queensland having won each series in the intervening years. In 2014 it was jointly awarded to Jarryd Hayne and Ryan Hoffman.
In February 2014, at 42 years of age, Fittler came out of retirement for a one-off showing at the NRL Auckland Nines. Representing the Sydney Roosters, he made a tackle on prop forward Fui Fui Moi Moi in the loss to the Parramatta Eels, before clipping Ben Barba high in a tackle, and also scoring a 75-metre intercept try off a David Stagg pass in their win over the Brisbane Broncos, his first try in 10 years.
On 24 November 2017, Fittler was announced as the new coach of the New South Wales rugby league team as the replacement for Laurie Daley. and announced a significant change to the Game 1 roster compared to the previous series with the debut of 11 players for the match on 6 June 2018. He ultimately led the side to its first series win since 2014 with an 18–14 victory in the second game. He was again successful the following year as the Blues won consecutive series for the first time since 2004-05.
On 24 June 2020, Fittler had his contract as New South Wales coach extended until the 2021 State of Origin series.
Currently, Brad Fittler is 49 years, 8 months and 21 days old. Brad Fittler will celebrate 50th birthday on a Saturday 5th of February 2022.
Find out about Brad Fittler birthday activities in timeline view here.