Fittler should stay or retire: Stuart - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fittler should stay or retire: Stuart

By Daniel Pace And Brent Read 22/06/2003 07:11:59 PM Comments (0)

Ricky Stuart said he would rather see Sydney Roosters captain Brad Fittler hang up his boots than play in England or for another National Rugby League club.

Roosters coach Stuart confirmed Fittler would have to accept a substantial pay cut to re-sign with the defending premiers because of salary cap restraints.

But Stuart added he expected the former Test skipper to make a decision soon.

"I just hope he doesn't retire early because of the reduction in pay in regards to salary cap and I hope he doesn't go to England," he said following Sydney's 30-22 loss to Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium.

"I know his manager Wayne Beavis has already had offers from England.

"I think we're losing too many high-profile players with such talent and ability to England.

"We need to keep them in our game. You can't lose people like Fittler. If he can't take the pay cut then I hope he retires."

The problem for the Roosters is that last year they had just three Origin players on their books and in 2003 they've got eight, pushing up the market values of the new crop of rep players.

Fittler himself was saying little but did reveal he was willing to accept a pay cut.

"I've been taking them since Super League so, no, I don't mind," said the five-eighth, who also denied a Sun Herald report that he wanted to make a return to State of Origin football for NSW in 2004.

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