Andrew Johns, Bob Fulton, Johnny Raper and Reg Gasnier are just a few of the legendary True Blues who sit atop the Rugby League world as Immortals and Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler should be the next in line to receive the honour, according to Phil Gould.
The two share a history which dates back to 1991, where Gould coached Fittler to a Grand Final win for the Penrith Panthers.
Gould also coached Fittler at the Sydney Roosters, as well as State of Origin level, where they won five series together.
“I think he’s in the Immortal status,” Gould told Wide World of Sports.
“It’s a conversation that needs to be had a lot more.
“Fittler’s record is extraordinary when you put up the numbers he achieved and the things he did, it’s quite extraordinary.
“He played 16 years and he played something like 426 first class fixtures – NRL, State of Origin, Australian test matches.”
Fittler finished his decorated career with 336 first grade games and 31 State of Origin appearances – the latter being the most in history for a NSW player. He also won two premierships at two separate clubs, a Golden Boot award, Dally M awards at lock, centre, five-eighth and as a captain, as well as 38 Test appearances for Australia including 25 as captain.
“With the personal performances that he put in and the performances of his team, performances for NSW and Australia,” Gould said.
Since retirement, Fittler has gone on to coach at NRL and state level where he took over as coach of NSW in 2018 from Laurie Daley.
With Fittler at the helm, NSW have won three out of four Origin series, with the most recent in 2021 breaking records for the most dominant series win in history by 72 points, eclipsing the previous record of 62 set in 2000.
Ironically, Fittler sits only behind his old coach Gould in the record book for coaching wins for NSW. In 24 games, Gould posted 12 wins while Fittler has 7 wins from 12 attempts.