Stuart Fielden

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Stuart Fielden
Stuart Fielden.jpg
Fielden while playing for Wigan in 2008
Personal information
Born (1979-09-14) 14 September 1979 (age 34)[1]
Halifax, England
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)[2]
Weight 17 st (110 kg)[2]
Playing information
Position Prop, Second-row
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1998–06 Bradford Bulls 224 43 0 0 172
2006–12 Wigan Warriors 139 3 0 0 12
2013 Huddersfield Giants 9 0 0 0 0
Total 372 46 0 0 184
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2000–08 England 10 0 0 0 0
2001–06 Great Britain 25 2 0 0 8
Yorkshire
As of 1 September 2013
Source: Rugby League Project

Stuart Fielden (born 14 September 1979 in Halifax) is an English former professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. He is currently an assistant coach for the Huddersfield Giants of Super League. A Great Britain national representative forward, he played his club rugby for Bradford Bulls with whom he won the 2001, 2003 and 2005 Super League Championships before he moved to Wigan Warriors for a record transfer fee in 2006, winning the 2010 Super League Championship with them. He then signed with Huddersfield in 2013 but played only a handful of games before injury forced him into retirement.

Early life[edit]

Stuart grew up in the village of Old Town near Hebden Bridge. It was not until he was in his teens that he started playing rugby league with Halifax amateur side Illingworth ARLFC. It was during his time with Illingworth that Bradford signed him.

Playing career[edit]

Bradford[edit]

Stuart made his Bradford Bulls debut against his hometown club Halifax in May 1998.[2] He played for them at front row forward in the 1999 Super League Grand Final which was lost to St Helens RLFC. Fielden made rapid progress alongside experienced props Joe Vagana, Brian McDermott and Paul Anderson and was named Super League's young player of the year in 2000[3]

Fielden played for the Bradford Bulls from the interchange bench and scored a try in their 2001 Super League Grand Final victory against the Wigan Warriors. As Super League VI champions, the Bulls played against 2001 NRL Premiers, the Newcastle Knights in the 2002 World Club Challenge. Fielden was selected for the interchange bench in Bradford's victory. He also played for Bradford at front row forward in their 2002 Super League Grand Final loss against St Helens RFC. Fielden played for the Bradford Bulls at prop forward in their 2003 Super League Grand Final victory against the Wigan Warriors. Having won Super League VIII, Bradford played against 2003 NRL Premiers, the Penrith Panthers in the 2004 World Club Challenge. Fielden played as a prop forward in the Bulls' 22-4 victory. He also played for Bradford at prop forward in their 2004 Super League Grand Final loss against the Leeds Rhinos. Fielden was selected in the Great Britain team to compete in the end of season 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against Australia he played at prop forward in the Lions' 44-4 loss.

in 2005 Fielden narrowly escaped the 2004 Inidan Ocean tsunami while holidaying in Thailand.[4] He played for the Bradford Bulls at prop forward in their 2005 Super League Grand Final victory against the Leeds Rhinos. As Super League champions Bradford faced National Rugby League premiers Wests Tigers in the 2006 World Club Challenge. Fielden played at prop forward and scored two tries in the Bulls' 30-10 victory.

Fielden won numerous honours and trophies while at Bradford, with a trademark aggressive style that saw him establish a reputation as one of the best and most feared front-rowers in the world. In February 2006 he won his last trophy with Bradford, being named Man-of-the-Match and scoring two tries in the World Club Challenge match against Wests Tigers. Many claimed following this match that Stuart was indeed the best prop in the world. He did not miss a game for the club in his last two seasons at Bradford and was an automatic choice for the Great Britain national rugby league team for the majority of his Bradford career.

Fielden won caps for England while at Bradford in 2000 against Australia, Russia (sub), Fiji (sub), Ireland and New Zealand,[5] and won caps for Great Britain while at Bradford in 2001 against Australia, Australia (sub) (2 matches), and France (sub), in 2002 against Australia, and New Zealand (3 matches), in 2003 against Australia (3 matches), in 2004 against Australia (3 matches), and New Zealand (2 matches); in 2005 against Australia (2 matches), New Zealand (2 matches).

In August 2007 he was named in Bradford's team of the Century.

Wigan[edit]

On 22 June 2006 Stuart make a shock switch from Bradford to join his old coach Brian Noble at Wigan. Wigan and Bradford agreed a transfer fee of £450,000 making it the most expensive cash only transfer of the Super League era. Stuart made his Wigan debut against Warrington on 23 June 2006 at the JJB Stadium. He was instrumental in helping his new club to avoid relegation in the remainder of the 2006 season, and he featured in the Tri-Nations tournament at the end of the season. During this tournament, in a match against Australia, he was involved in an altercation with Australian forward Willie Mason in which Mason punched Fielden, knocking him out.[6]

Fielden won caps for Great Britain while at Wigan in 2006 against New Zealand (3 matches), and Australia (2 matches).[7]

In the 2010 season however his form improved with the rest of the team that topped the league for most of the season. His performances have been outstanding in a Wigan team that is again performing well. An iconic moment in the revival of Stuart Fielden happened on Sunday 15 August in a match against Huddersfield involving a bust up between Fielden and Huddersfield prop Keith Mason. Mason stamped on Fielden's ankle sparking a brawl which involved 'nearly all 26 players'. Mason seemed to want nothing to do with the incensed Fielden and Darrell Griffin took the fall for it. Subsequently both men were sin binned. Fielden went onto to have a fantastic game, playing like in his iconic aggressive style whilst at Bradford.[8]

Fielden took part in a boxing match, The Rumble by the Humber, against fellow rugby league player, Lee Radford which raised in excess of £60,000 for former team-mate Steve Prescott. He lost the fight after it was stopped in the second round.[9]

Fielden's 2011 season began with a slow start. He was ruled out of Wigan's opening fixture against St Helens following a knee operation, but recovered in time for Wigan's next match against Bradford.[10][11] He did not feature in the World Club Challenge squad that faced St George Illawarra Dragons, and on 9 March was confirmed as needing another knee operation which would keep him sidelined for four months.[12]

Fielden played his final game for Wigan against St Helens in the final regular season home match of 2012. He was released by Wigan at the conclusion of the season.

Huddersfield[edit]

Fielden signed a two year contract with Huddersfield Giants on 12 October 2012. In July 2013 he declared a change of alleigance from England to play for the Ireland national rugby league team in the end-of-season 2013 World Cup.[13] However the following month the 33-year-old forward was forced to annouce his retirement effective immediately due to a knee infection.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stott, Julie (6 October 2010). "England Four Nations Pen Pics". News of the World (UK: News Group Newspapers Ltd.). Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Stuart Fielden Factfile". wiganwarriors.com. Wigan Warriors. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  3. ^ ."Tri-Nations: Great Britain profiles". Mail Online (London: Associated Newspapers). 19 October 2004. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  4. ^ news.bbc.co.uk (3 January 2005). "Super League star escapes tsunami". BBC Sport (UK: BBC). Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Woods, Dave (20 February 2011). "Inside the Mind of Willie Mason". BBC. Retrieved 6 November 2006. 
  7. ^ "Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Wigan 16-18 Huddersfield". BBC News. 15 August 2010. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "Saints v Warriors: Teams". Sky Sports. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Bradford 10-44 Wigan". BBC. 20 February 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Wigan prop Stuart Fielden out for up to four months". BBC. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "World Cup: Huddersfield Giants prop Stuart Fielden declares for Ireland". Sky Sports. 
  14. ^ "Huddersfield Giants prop Stuart Fielden announces retirement". bbc.com (BBC). 21 August 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Paul Newlove
Rugby League Transfer Record
Bradford Bulls to Wigan Warriors

2006-2013
Succeeded by
Sam Tomkins