|Fien while playing for New Zealand in 2008|
|Full name||Nathan Leigh Fien|
1 August 1979 |
Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia
|Height||172 cm (5 ft 8 in)|
|Weight||84 kg (13 st 3 lb)|
|Position||hooker, five-eighth, halfback|
|2009–13||St. George Illawarra||80||7||0||0||28|
|2012||NRL All Stars||0||0||0||0||0|
Nathan Fien (born 1 August 1979) is a former Australian born professional rugby league footballer who last played for the St. George Illawarra Dragons of the National Rugby League. A former New Zealand international and Queensland State of Origin representative hooker, halfback, he previously played club football with the North Queensland Cowboys and New Zealand Warriors before moving to the Dragons in 2009.
He was a member of the 2008 World Cup winning New Zealand team and a member of the 2010 NRL (National Rugby League) Premiership winning St. George Illawarra Dragons. Fien played in all four of the Kiwi's 2010 Four Nations internationals at halfback, including scoring the match winning try in the 79th minute of the final. Fien's impressive late season form saw him winning the halfback spot in Rugby League World's 2010 team of the year.
Fien was educated at Blackheath and Thornburgh College, Charters Towers and played his junior rugby league for the Mount Isa Brothers. In 2000 he made his debut with the North Queensland Cowboys, playing against the Penrith Panthers. In 2001 his form warranted selection to the Queensland side, where he came off the bench for one State of Origin match.
In 2008 he was told that he would not be required past the 2009 season at the Warriors and that they would consider releasing him at the end of the 2008 season. Fien initially turned down this offer, hoping that his form in the World Cup could earn him a contract extension. However, after the Huddersfield Giants failed to gain a work visa for Todd Carney they approached Fien with a large offer. In January 2009 Fien requested that the Warriors release him from his final season. This request was initially turned down by the Warriors due to the earlier release of Grant Rovelli, however on 30 June 2009 it was announced that Fien would transfer to the St. George Illawarra Dragons for the remainder of the season.
In May 2009, after being dropped from first grade by the Warriors, Fien announced he has signed a three-year deal with the St. George Illawarra Dragons from 2010. On 30 June the Warriors agreed to release Fien from the rest of his contract, and he joined the Dragons for the second half of the 2009 season.
In the opening round of 2010 he suffered a serious ankle injury which kept him out until just before the finals. Upon his return he provided attacking options to the team and proved an invaluable player throughout the end of the regular season and finals. He was in the 2010 premiership winning St. George Illawarra team and scored the final try of the 2010 NRL Grand Final, showcasing his dummy-half skills. He has re-signed until the end of 2013.
Born in Australia, Fien claimed eligibility to play for New Zealand through a New Zealand-born grandmother, and played in two 2006 Tri-Nations matches. After these appearances it emerged that his New Zealand born relation was, in fact, a great-grandmother. Following this discovery the International Rugby League Board declared him ineligible to play for the Kiwis, and New Zealand was stripped of its 2 championship points they got from beating Great Britain. The issue was dubbed Grannygate by the media.
In August 2008, Fien was named in the New Zealand training squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup - now being eligible for New Zealand due to residency qualifications via his tenure at the Auckland-based Warriors - and in October 2008 he was named in the final 24-man Kiwi squad. Fien played at halfback in the World Cup final, which was won by New Zealand.
- FIEN, NATHAN LEIGH 2006, 2008 - 2010 - KIWI #733 nzleague.co.nz
- Marshall Scoops Golden Boot Award Rugby League Today, 30 December 2010.
- "League: Fien hoping World Cup form can help club future". Otago Daily Times. NZPA. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- "Warriors confirm Fien staying in Auckland". One Sport. 20 January 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- Nathan Fien to become a Dragon AAP, 26 May 2009
- "NRL: Fien targets regular role with Dragons". The New Zealand Herald. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- "Nathan Fien to stay with St George Illawara". The Press. AAP. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- "Kearney opts for Fien at halfback". The Dominion Post. 14 November 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- "Kiwis select Sonny Bill". Sky Sports. 8 August 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
- "Kiwis to wait on Webb and Matai". BBC. 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
- "First Kiwis Train-On Squad Named", rleague.com; retrieved 5 September 2012.