Could this actually happen? Could we get to see God team up with the Italian Jesus and SBW?
It’s a distinct possibility, pending NRL approval, that Brad Fittler — or as Roosters fans know him, God — could make a comeback at the age of 42 to play in the Auckland Nines for the Sydney Roosters next month.
According to an article on news.com.au:
ROOSTERS great Brad ‘Freddy’ Fittler is set for a stunning comeback – with the NRL premiers keen to use their legendary playmaker in the Auckland Nines.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal, despite turning 42 next month, Fittler will be part of the Tricolour’s squad for the inaugural February tournament, pending approval from the NRL.
The move, which is backed by Roosters supremo Nick Politis, will not only provide a huge boost to the event’s promotion, but also bring a little relief for the defending champions, who had more players involved in the World Cup than any other club.
Speaking last night, Roosters Chief Operating Officer Brian Canavan confirmed the Freddy whisper, saying: “We’ll be investigating the proposal with the NRL when they reopen on Monday.”
Despite retiring way back in 2004, Fittler could be made eligible for the Nines by signing a contract similar to the $1 deal struck a few years ago between Manly and club icon Steve Menzies.
And the man himself had this to say on Twitter:
If the Nines weren’t compulsory viewing already, they will be if Freddy dons the boots one more time.
While it is bound to attract critics from some corners of the media in that it would appear the Roosters aren’t taking the Nines and the $2 million-plus prize seriously, lets look at the facts of the case.
Freddy would still have that tremendous flat ball cut-out that could find the likes of Michael Jennings and Daniel Tupou with relative ease — you don’t just lose that ability, and from how he appears on TV he certainly looks in tremendous shape for a man his age.
Would he need to run? Maybe — but in all likelihood he would take on the role of distributor and leave the running to his big men and outside backs, in much the same way Darren Lockyer did at the tail end of his career.
Plus, fuck it: I want to see Freddy in the red, white and blue once again.
There was a legends game not long ago, maybe five years ago, when Freddy looked far and away the best on the field, and that game included the likes of Gorden Tallis. You may remember those games, as two fans were able to bid for the opportunity to play in the exhibition and one of them, who looked like a mix betweer Carl Barron and a local fruiterer, stood up to Gordie in a mock show of arrogance following a big play.
Freddy looked great in that game, and still had the step before the line and made a break from memory.
Five years or so on, there’s no doubt he would have lost a step or three, and the defensive workload after so long out of the game may take a toll on his body.
But it’s the Nines: no-one is expected to really tackle anyone anyway.
If the NRL allows it — and I have no reason to think why they wouldn’t — it would ensure ratings for the Nines would go through the roof thanks to the sheer oddity of seeing whether Fittler still has anything. That would go for all fans, not just Roosters ones.
With Roger Tuivasa-Sheck out until probably the start of the season , the Roosters are already down some bodies. They’ve also taken on a massive workload since the Grand Final, with 16 players representing their respective countries at the World Cup and with the World Club Challenge being held a week later.
The Roosters won’t start favourites for the Nines based on these factors, and ultimately — despite the mammoth prize on offer — they don’t mean anything in the long run. But If Freddy wears the tricolours once again, every single Roosters fan will be watching.