19 September 1972 |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||182 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||93 kg (14 st 9 lb)|
|1997||New South Wales (SL)||2||0||7||1||14|
|1999–01||New South Wales||8||7||27||0||82|
Ryan Girdler (born 19 September 1972 in Sydney, New South Wales) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s and 2000s. A New South Wales State of Origin and Australia national representative goal-kicking centre, he played his club football for the Illawarra Steelers and then the Penrith Panthers, winning the 2003 NRL Premiership with them.
Girdler first played in the NSWRL for the Illawarra Steelers in 1991. During his time at Illawarra, he struggled with injuries and with the likes of Paul McGregor and Brett Rodwell cemented as the Steelers centre pairing, received few chances to reach his full potential.
This prompted a move to the Penrith Panthers in 1993 where he stayed for the rest of his career.
In 1997 he played three games for New South Wales. In the 1997 post season, Girdler was selected to play for Australia as a centre and goal kicker in two matches of the Super League Test series against Great Britain.
Following Super League, Girdler was then selected for New South Wales in State of Origin. Girdler 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 played from the interchange bench in the Kangaroos' 22-20 victory. In 2000 Ryan set one of his many records at Penrith, kicking 78 goals in the season. In the 2000 State of Origin series he set records for most points in a game (32 in game 3) and most points in a series (52). Later that year Ryan was selected to play for the Kangaroos in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup. Ryan scored three tries and kicked 17 goals for a 46 points in total when the Kangaroos defeated Russia 110 to 4 at The Boulevard, Hull.
In 2002, Ryan was once again injured, a knee injury ruling him out for half the season, despite the injury, Ryan was able to set another record at the Penrith club, scoring 28 points in a match against Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Penrith Stadium in July.
In 2003 he was injured in the opening round and did not make a return until round 14. 2003 was the last year that Ryan would represent Australia, scoring the first try in a game against Wales, 76 to 4. That season the Panthers finished minor premiers and went on to the grand final. In the 2003 NRL grand final Ryan played in the centres and had to come from the field with a calf injury in the Panthers' victory over the Sydney Roosters. After that he went on the 2003 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France, helping Australia to victory over Great Britain in what would be the last time the two nations contested an Ashes series.
His last game was the Preliminary Final loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs who went on to win the 2004 NRL premiership.
Girdler was the top point-scorer in 1997's Super League premiership season. During the 2000 State of Origin he scored 32 points in one game, equalling Dally Messenger's for most points in an interstate game. His tally of 1690 first grade points is the 8th highest in history and he was the first player to score 100 tries and kick 500 goals (a feat subsequently emulated by Hazem El Masri and Luke Burt).
- Most Points (Penrith): 1,572
- Most Goals (Match): 10 (2000)
- Most Points (Match): 32 (2000)
- Most Points (Series): 52 (2000)
- Most Tries (Series): 5 (2000) record held with Lote Tuqiri (2002 for QLD)
- Most Goals (Series): 16 (2000)
- Most Goals (Match): 17 (2000)
- Most Points (Match): 46 (2000)
Girdler was a regular on the rugby league television show The NRL Footy Show, eventually gaining his own segment on the show in 2001 with a segment named Gone Fishin' and then an occasional recurring segment from 2002 which is titled Their House, a loose parody of Australian lifestyle program Our House.
Girdler is currently a member of the Penrith Panthers coaching team.