The Footy Show last night announced that legendary rugby league player Brad Fittler, will join The NRL Rookie as Head Coach..
Fittler is arguably one of Australia’s best rugby league players, with a stellar career that spanned 16 years. He played 336 first-grade matches, 40 Tests and World Cup games 1990-2001 (captain 20 times, winning 17 games), and went on three Kangaroo tours in 1990, 1994 and 2001. As a coach, Fittler took the Sydney Roosters to the NRL finals series in 2008. He has also coached the City Origin team since 2011.
Fittler will be joined by an extensive team of specialist coaches, high-performance managers, sports psychologists, nutritionists, current and former NRL players and coaches, who will mentor, motivate and educate the rookies as they progress through a range of team and individual challenges designed to test players’ abilities and strengths.
Being Head Coach is a great thrill. People will be going to great lengths to get one last shot at a dream, and watching someone realise that dream will be an awesome experience,” Fittler said.
Glenn Pallister, Nine’s Executive Producer of The NRL Rookie, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed at the response so far and the standard of applicants. The appointment of Brad as Head Coach is the first of the exciting announcements of key roles that will make this show the success we know it will be.”
NRL Head of Football, Todd Greenberg, said The NRL Rookie was important to the game’s governing body for a number of reasons “Not only will The NRL Rookie allow us to open a new and unique pathway to talent identification, it will also deliver a fascinating insight into what it takes to be an elite NRL player,” .“Brad did it all as a player but he is also a successful coach and, most recently, a mentor for some of the game’s younger pathways players. He is certainly well-equipped to guide these rookies as they chase a dream.”Mr Greenberg said
From well over 1000 applicants worldwide, the field has been narrowed to 200 standout rookies who will attend trials this week and next in Brisbane, Sydney and Auckland.
A number of international applicants are also continuing to be evaluated ahead of the final selection process. This will determine the lineup of contestants who will be selected to appear in The NRL Rookie.
Production of the series will begin in August with/The NRL Rookie going to air on Nine in 2016.