- Fittler has stepped down as NSW head coach
- He pitched six days ago to continue his role
- He had three series wins from six attempts
Brad Fittler has resigned as head coach of the NSW Blues just days after pitching to continue his role with the side.
Fittler made the shock announcement on Thursday afternoon, informing the NSWRL board and CEO David Trodden that he is stepping down from his position.
His bid to stay on as Blues coach for the 2024 State of Origin series reportedly included some major changes to the coaching staff and the inclusion of Phil Gould as his new senior advisor.
However, the man who coached NSW for six consecutive series called Trodden on Thursday to give him the news he will not continue in the role.
“The board understands and respects his decision,” said NSWRL chairman Paul Conlon.
Fittler’s snap decision has completely blindsided NSW Blues fans
Ricky Stuart and Craig Bellamy are among the top candidates to replace Fittler
“Freddy was a legend as a player and returned to coach the team at a time when his state needed him.
“He enjoyed immediate success and his series victory in 2021, including record scores in Townsville and Brisbane, will go down in NSW Blues history.
“He has also contributed through other programs including his Hogs motorcycle tours in regional NSW, which played a major role in the unity of the state.
“He holds a special place in the history of NSW Rugby League.”
Ricky Stuart and Craig Bellamy are expected to be among the top candidates to replace him.
Fittler said he “loved” being in charge of the Blues and would “always love NSW”.
He took over the coaching reigns from Laurie Daley in 2018 and ended his tenure with three series wins from six attempts.
Fittler suffered back-to-back series losses in 2022 and 2023 but completed the job as NSW’s second most capped coach behind his mentor Phil Gould.
More to come…