Brad Fittler’s return to rugby league at the Auckland Nines has been cut short due to a hip flexor injury.
Brad Fittler’s comeback to rugby league lasted just one day at the inaugural NRL Nines, but he says he’d be keen to return.
The 42-year-old former Australian captain produced one of the highlights of the opening day when he intercepted a pass from Brisbane utility David Stagg and raced 55m to score for Sydney Roosters early on the Saturday.
But a hip flexor injury ensured he was sidelined for the final day of the sold-out Eden Park event on Sunday.
“There’s no running for me today,” said a limping Fittler ahead of the Roosters’ final pool game loss 16-4 to Canterbury. “That knocked them out of the tournament.”
Fittler could yet be back, if the event is run again, as he praised the success of the tournament.
“I would do this again next year for sure, if I was in condition. It’s awesome,” Fittler said.
“I think every ex-player should strive to come back and have a go.”
Fittler was joined on the comeback trail in Auckland by Manly back-rower Steve Menzies.
NSW halfback Mitchell Pearce was another absentee from final day of the Nines with a leg cork, but it is not expected to rule him out of Saturday’s World Club Challenge against Wigan.
“I’m ok, it’s just a bit of a precaution,” Pearce said.
Jackson Hastings, the son of Roosters great Kevin, impressed in his tricolours debut, playing all three matches.
“It was great to play with Freddie (Fittler),” Hastings said.
“He is obviously one of the greats so it was great to be out there with him.”
Captain Michael Ennis missed the final day for the Bulldogs with a wrist injury that is unlikely to rule him out of their round one clash with Brisbane.
Gold Coast back-rower Dave Taylor didn’t take the field due to a leg cork, that isn’t expected to sideline him for the start of the NRL competition in two weeks.