Craig Fitzgibbon

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Craig Fitzgibbon
Fitzy.jpg
Personal information
Born (1977-06-16) 16 June 1977 (age 38)
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height 191 cm (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 104 kg (16 st 5 lb)[1]
Position Second-row, Prop, Lock
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1998 Illawarra Steelers 20 2 38 0 84
1999 St.George Illawarra 15 4 25 0 66
2000–09 Sydney Roosters 228 36 655 0 1454
2010–11 Hull F.C. 44 9 9 0 54
Total 307 51 727 0 1658
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2001–08 Country Origin 5 0 5 0 10
2002–08 Australia 19 3 50 0 112
2003–08 New South Wales 11 1 20 0 44
2011 Exiles 1 0 0 0 0
Source: NRL Stats

Craig Fitzgibbon (born 16 June 1977) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. A New South Wales State of Origin and Australia national representative goal-kicking forward, he played in the National Rugby League for the Illawarra Steelers and St. George Illawarra Dragons as well as for the Sydney Roosters, with whom he won the 2002 NRL Premiership. Fitzgibbon then played in Europe's Super League for Hull F.C..

Early years[edit]

The son of former rugby league player and coach Allan Fitzgibbon, Craig Fitzgibbon played his first game of junior football with the Dapto under-9Bs. His heroes as a child were Gavin Miller, Bradley Clyde and Andrew Ettingshausen.[2]

Playing career[edit]

National Rugby League[edit]

Fitzgibbon began his playing career for the Illawarra Steelers in 1998. In his first season he was the Steelers' top point-scorer and was named rookie of the year. Following the Steelers' merger with St. George Dragons, he played for the merged club St. George Illawarra Dragons. Fitzgibbon played from the bench in the 1999 NRL Grand Final, scoring the first try in the Dragons' 20–18 loss.

Fitzgibbon subsequently transferred to the Roosters in 2000. He played at second-row forward and scored a try in the Roosters' 2000 NRL Grand Final loss to the Brisbane Broncos. Eventually, Fitzgibbon won a premiership with the Roosters, playing at second-row forward in their 2002 NRL grand final victory over the New Zealand Warriors and winning the Clive Churchill Medal for his best-on-ground performance. Having won the 2002 NRL Premiership, the Roosters travelled to England to play the 2003 World Club Challenge against Super League champions, St Helens RLFC. Fitzgibbon played at second-row forward, scoring a try and kicking nine goals in Sydney's victory. In the 2003 NRL grand final Fitzgibbon played in the second row and was the Roosters' goal-kicker in their loss to the Penrith Panthers. After that he was selected to go on the 2003 Kangaroo tour. Fitzgibbon played for the Roosters at second-row forward in their 2004 NRL grand final loss to cross-Sydney rivals, the Bulldogs. Fitzgibbon was selected in the Australian team to go and compete in the end of season 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against Great Britain he played from the interchange bench and kicked two goals in the Kangaroos' 44–4 victory.

In 2006, Fitzgibbon succeeded Luke Ricketson as captain of the Roosters. On 12 August 2006, he became the highest scoring forward in premiership history, surpassing ex-Canberra Raiders back-rower David Furner. Fitzgibbon passed the previous record of 1218 points by converting winger Sam Perrett's third try in the 64th minute after beginning the match four points behind the Canberra forward. In August 2008, Fitzgibbon was named in the preliminary 46-man Kangaroos squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup,[3][4] and in October 2008 he was selected in the final 24-man Australia squad.[5] On 16 May 2009 it was announced that Craig had signed a one year deal, with the option of a second year, with English Super League side Hull for the 2010 season.[1]

Super League[edit]

Craig Fitzgibbon was selected for the Exiles squad for the Rugby League International Origin Match against England at Headingley on 10 June 2011.[6] On 3 September 2011 Fitzgibbon suffered a fracture and ligament damage to his ankle and announced his retirement at the age of 34. On the 26 September announced he would return to the Sydney Roosters in 2012 as a part of its Coaching Staff [2]

Highlights[edit]

  • Played in the 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 & 2004 Grand Finals (scored 3 tries & kicked 9 goals for 30 points)
  • Won the Clive Churchill Medal in the 2002 Grand Final
  • Played 8 games for New South Wales 2003–2005 (scored one try & kicked 16 goals for 36 points)
  • Played 15 games for Australia 2002–2005 (scored 3 tries & kicked 39 goals for 90 points)
  • Played 4 games for Country vs. City 2002, 2004, 2005 & 2006
  • Craig Fitzgibbon is the highest point scoring forward (1560 points)
  • Has played 239 first grade games (scored 39 tries & kicked 700 goals for 1560 Points)
  • Has kicked over 600 goals for the Sydney Roosters
  • One of the last remaining Illawarra Steelers players (Along with Trent Barrett and Luke Patten)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hull F.C.". web page. Hull F.C. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Matt Logue. "My first...". Rugby League Week (Sydney, NSW: PBLMedia) (21 May 2008): pg 33. 
  3. ^ Liam FitzGibbon (1 August 2008). "Surprises in Kangaroos squad". "Fox Sports News (Australia)". Retrieved 2 August 2008. 
  4. ^ "Veteran Lockyer named in Australian squad". International Herald Tribune. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2008. 
  5. ^ "Manly six win Australia call-up". BBC. 7 October 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2008. 
  6. ^ "Warrington dominate Exiles picks for Origin fixture". bbc.co.uk. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Andrew Johns (Newcastle Knights)
Clive Churchill Medallist
2002
Succeeded by
Luke Priddis (Penrith Panthers)
Preceded by
Luke Ricketson
Sydney Roosters Captain
2006–2008
Succeeded by
Braith Anasta