Craig Field

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Craig Field
Craig Field outside Wagga Wagga Court House.jpg
Personal information
Full name Craig Steven Field
Born (1972-12-12) 12 December 1972 (age 45)
Playing information
Height 169 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Weight 78 kg (12 st 4 lb)
Position Halfback

Years Team Pld T G FG P
1990–96 South Sydney 84 22 83 0 254
1997–99 Manly Sea Eagles 54 7 44 3 119
1999 Balmain Tigers 17 2 1 2 12
2000–01 Wests Tigers 28 4 7 3 33
Total 183 35 135 8 418
Source: [1][2]

Craig Field (born 12 December 1972) is an Australian former professional rugby league player. Field played for South Sydney, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, Balmain Tigers and Wests Tigers. His primary position was at halfback. His talent and leadership on the field was hampered by off-field incidents throughout his career. He is currently serving a jail term for the manslaughter of a 50-year-old man in 2012.

Playing career[edit]

Field made his debut with South Sydney as a seventeen-year-old in 1990, playing one game from the bench. By 1993, with his flashes of brilliance on-field, he had earned himself a position in the first-grade team on a regular basis and in 1994 he was promoted to captain.[4]

In 1995, Field was stripped of the captaincy and fined $10,000 for missing training and at the end of the 1996 season he left the Rabbitohs for Manly-Warringah. Both Cliff Lyons and Geoff Toovey were in the Manly team and Field had to compete against the two test halves for the halfback position. Field was a member of the 1997 Manly side which lost the Grand Final to the Newcastle Knights.[4]

Early in 1999, Field requested a release from the Manly club and he played his last game with the team in round 5. In round 7, he steered his new club, Balmain, to a win over Manly.

Field became a Wests Tiger in 2000 when Balmain and Western Suburbs merged at the end of the 1999 season. After only four games of the 2001 season, Field and teammate, Kevin McGuinness, were suspended by the National Rugby League (NRL) for six months after testing positive for stimulants.[5][6] Field did not participate in any other first-grade games in Australia.

In 2002, Field moved to the south-west of France to play for the Pia Donkeys in the French Rugby League Championship. Following the sacking of coach John Elias in February, 2003, Field took over coaching duties and led Pia in the club's 16–14 loss in the French Cup final. On his return to Australia in May, 2003, Field joined the Newtown Jets in the premier-league competition, captaining the side for the remainder of the season.[4][7]

From 2005 till 2009, Field was captain-coach of Wagga Brothers in the Group 9 competition.[8] In 2010, he joined the Cudgen Hornets in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League, along with his cousin Matt Seers.[9] After two seasons with the Hornets, Field retired as a player but remained with the club as coach.

In 2013, at age 40, Field was playing A-grade park football for Moore Park club in the South Sydney junior league competition.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Craig Field discussing the case with the media

After claiming to be the victim of an armed robbery on the night of 18 February 2007 at a hotel in Wagga Wagga of which he was manager at the time, it was alleged that the robbery had been staged and Field was subsequently charged with recruiting a child to participate in a criminal activity, making a false statement to police and three counts of stealing after a robbery.[11] On 11 August 2009, after a four-day trial at Wagga Wagga Court House, Field was acquitted of all charges by a majority (11–1) jury verdict.[12]

On 15 July 2012, Field was arrested and charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm after allegedly punching 50-year-old Kelvin Kane outside a hotel in Kingscliff, New South Wales. Kane was knocked unconscious and required cardiopulmonary resuscitation when paramedics arrived at the scene. He later died in hospital, prompting the charges against Field to be upgraded to murder.[13][14] Field was released from prison on 18 December 2012 after a A$10,000 bail bond was posted, with strict reporting conditions.[15] The murder trial, in which Field pleaded not guilty, began in November 2014.[16] On 9 December 2014, Field was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter over the death of Kane. He was sentenced to a maximum of 10 years and a minimum of 7 and a half years. Field will be eligible for parole in 2021.[17]


  1. ^ NRL Stats[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Craig Field at the Rugby League Project
  3. ^ Walker, Ben (20 June 2008). "Clyburn, the right player to shutdown Field". Fairfax Digital. The Daily Liberal. Retrieved 12 August 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c Alan Whiticker & Glen Hudson (2007). The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players. Wetherill Park, New South Wales: Gary Allen Pty Ltd. p. 158. ISBN 978-1-877082-93-1. 
  5. ^ "Drugs pair hit by ban" (fee required). The Mirror (London). 2001-03-29. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  6. ^ "Six months for both Field and McGuinness" (fee required). AAP Sports News (Australia). 2001-03-23. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  7. ^ Brad Walter (2003-06-05). "Field a Jet but no chance for Souths". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  8. ^ Les Muir (2008-08-15). "Captain defies CRL with Field choice". The Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga). Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  9. ^ Jamie Gallagher (4 February 2010). "Hornets confident of top placing". Tweed Daily News. Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  10. ^ Proszenko, Adrian (31 March 2013). "Field reveals new purpose and perspective on life after jail stint". Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Former NRL star in court over fake robbery". News Limited. The Australian. 27 September 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2009. [dead link]
  12. ^ Holliday, Rebekah (12 August 2009). "Field found not guilty". Fairfax Digital. Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 13 August 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2009. 
  13. ^ Kwek, Glenda (16 July 2012). "Former NRL star Craig Field facing murder charge". Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "Former Rabbitoh Craig Field to stand trial for murder". 26 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  15. ^ "Strict bail for accused killer Craig Field". The Daily Advertiser. 30 December 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  16. ^ Hall, Louise (7 March 2014). "One-punch death: Craig Field pleads not guilty to murder". Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  17. ^ Chambers, Geoff (9 December 2014). "Craig Field has been found guilty of the manslaughter of cattle farmer Kelvin Kane at Kingscliff Hotel in 2012". Retrieved 9 December 2014. 

External links[edit]