Sydney Roosters coach Craig Fitzgibbon was reunited with his former Super League employers on Tuesday as the Black & Whites teamed up with the 2013 NRL Grand Final winners for a joint-training session.
The final stop on Fitzgibbon’s rugby league career was at Hull FC, with whom he retired with in 2011 after previously representing the Roosters, St George Illawarra Dragons and Illawarra Steelers, as well as Australia and New South Wales.
The 40-year-old is now involved with the Roosters’ coaching team, working alongside the likes of Cooper Cronk, Boyd Cordner and Daniel Tupou to name a few.
Those are just three of the many international stars that Hull FC trained alongside earlier today, in preparation for Saturday’s clash with St George Illawarra Dragons.
And Fitzgibbon explains how the dual-training session was beneficial for both parties.
“It’s certainly something a little bit different for both teams, but especially for us at this time of the year during pre-season,” Fitzgibbon exclusively told hullfc.com.
“To get some new faces down to training was really refreshing. Both sets of players were working against new attacking players, new defensive players, players who work on different lines, so it was really good.
“You’ve got to be careful when you throw about 46 guys onto one field at one time, but it was a well organised session and I think both sides got out of it what they’d have liked to get out of it.
“I know Trent [Barrett] is really happy with the way this morning went, and after speaking to Lee Radford and Andy Last, they’re both very pleased with the session.”
Two of Fitzgibbon’s former sides will go head-to-head at ANZ Stadium in Saturday’s international double header. Preceding Wigan Warriors’ clash with South Sydney Rabbitohs, the Airlie Birds face St George Illawarra Dragons.
The former prop-forward, who was born and bred in Wollongong, where the Black & Whites faced Wigan in last Saturday’s Super League clash, featured for the Dragons all the way back in 1999.
Due to commitments with the Roosters, Fitzgibbon won’t be able to attend the historic double-header in Sydney, which he is disappointed to be missing out on.
“It’s unfortunate that we’re [Sydney Roosters] trialling at the same time because I would have loved to have gone down to the game,” he said.
“I wish both teams all of the best and I hope they get a really hard hit-out from the game. Hopefully both sides come out of it injury-free, too.
“I’ve been keeping up to date with Hull FC in the last few years - so still a tragic Black & Whites fan! The two years I had there were very rewarding and I’ve got a place close to my heart for Hull.”