Nathan Fien (born 1 August 1979), also known by the nickname of "Fieny",[3] is an Australian professional rugby league assistant coach with the Dolphins since their inaugural 2023 season in the National Rugby League (NRL) competition.

Nathan Fien
Personal information
Full nameNathan Leigh Fien[1]
Born (1979-08-01) 1 August 1979 (age 44)
Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia
Playing information
Height172 cm (5 ft 8 in)
Weight84 kg (13 st 3 lb)
PositionHalfback, Hooker, Five-eighth
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2000–04 North Qld Cowboys 91 17 0 4 72
2005–09 New Zealand Warriors 105 17 0 0 68
2009–13 St. George Illawarra 81 7 0 0 28
Total 277 41 0 4 168
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2001 Queensland 1 0 0 0 0
2006–12 New Zealand 22 5 0 0 20
2012 NRL All Stars 1 0 0 0 0
Source: [2]

Fien is also a former New Zealand international rugby league footballer who played as a halfback, hooker and five-eighth in the 2000s and 2010s. He last played for the St. George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL. A former Queensland State of Origin representative hooker, halfback or five-eighth, he previously played club football with the North Queensland Cowboys and New Zealand Warriors before moving to St. George in 2009.

He was a member of the 2008 World Cup winning New Zealand team and a member of the 2010 NRL Premiership winning St. George Illawarra Dragons. Fien played in all four of the Kiwi's 2010 Four Nations internationals at halfback, including scoring the match winning try in the 79th minute of the final. Fien's impressive late season form saw him winning the halfback spot in Rugby League World's 2010 team of the year.[4]

Background edit

Fien was born in Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia.

Playing career edit

North Queensland edit

Fien was educated at Blackheath and Thornburgh College, Charters Towers and played his junior rugby league for Brothers in Mount Isa. In 2000, he made his debut with the North Queensland Cowboys, playing against the Penrith Panthers. In 2001, his form warranted selection to the Queensland side, where he came off the bench for one State of Origin match. In the 2004 NRL season, Fien played twenty-three games for North Queensland as the club reached the finals for the first time. They would defeat eventual premiers Canterbury in week one of the finals and go on to reach the preliminary final against the Sydney Roosters before losing 16–19 at Telstra Stadium.[5]

New Zealand Warriors edit

After playing ninety-three games for North Queensland, Fien signed with the New Zealand Warriors from the season 2005 onwards. He later extended his contract until the end of 2009.[citation needed]

In 2008, he was told that he would not be required past the 2009 season at the Warriors and that they would consider releasing him at the end of the 2008 season. Fien initially turned down this offer, hoping that his form in the World Cup could earn him a contract extension.[6] However, after the Huddersfield Giants failed to gain a work visa for Todd Carney they approached Fien with a large offer. In January 2009 Fien requested that the Warriors release him from his final season. This request was initially turned down by the Warriors due to the earlier release of Grant Rovelli,[7] however on 30 June 2009 it was announced that Fien would transfer to the St. George Illawarra Dragons for the remainder of the season.

St. George Illawarra edit

In May 2009, after being dropped from first grade by the Warriors, Fien signed a three-year deal with the St. George Illawarra Dragons from 2010.[8] On 30 June the Warriors agreed to release Fien from the rest of his contract, and he joined the Dragons for the second half of the 2009 season.[9]

In the opening round of 2010, he suffered a serious ankle injury which kept him out until just before the finals. Upon his return, he provided attacking options to the team and proved an invaluable player throughout the end of the regular season and finals. He was in the 2010 premiership winning St. George Illawarra team and scored the final try of the 2010 NRL Grand Final, showcasing his dummy half skills. He was re-signed until the end of 2013.[10]

Fien playing for New Zealand in 2008

He retired at the end of the 2013 season.[11]

International career edit

Born in Australia, Fien claimed eligibility to play for New Zealand through a New Zealand-born grandmother, and played in two 2006 Tri-Nations matches. After these appearances it emerged that his New Zealand born relation was, in fact, a great-grandmother. Following this discovery the International Rugby League Board declared him ineligible to play for the Kiwis, and New Zealand was stripped of its 2 championship points they got from beating Great Britain. The issue was dubbed Grannygate by the media.[12]

In August 2008, Fien was named in the New Zealand training squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup[13] – now being eligible for New Zealand due to residency qualifications via his tenure at the Auckland-based Warriors – and in October 2008 he was named in the final 24-man Kiwi squad.[14] Fien played at halfback in the World Cup final, which was won by New Zealand.

He retired from international rugby league following the 2012 ANZAC Test.[15]

Coaching career edit

Dolphins edit

Fien is an assistant coach with the Dolphins since their inaugural 2023 season in the National Rugby League competition.

References edit

  1. ^ FIEN, NATHAN LEIGH 2006, 2008 – 2010 – KIWI #733
  2. ^ "Statistics at". Rugby League Project. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Dragons hooker Nathan Fien recalls the inspirational talk that helped propel his career". The Daily Telegraph. Sydney. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  4. ^ Marshall Scoops Golden Boot Award Archived 23 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Rugby League Today, 30 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Roosters reach grand final". Australia: ABC News.
  6. ^ "League: Fien hoping World Cup form can help club future". Otago Daily Times. NZPA. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Warriors confirm Fien staying in Auckland". One Sport. 20 January 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  8. ^ Nathan Fien to become a Dragon AAP, 26 May 2009
  9. ^ "NRL: Fien targets regular role with Dragons". The New Zealand Herald. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  10. ^ "Nathan Fien to stay with St George Illawara". The Press. AAP. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  11. ^ "Dragons play-maker Nathan Fien will retire at the end of the NRL season after a 14-year career". ABC. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Kearney opts for Fien at halfback". The Dominion Post. 14 November 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  13. ^ "Kiwis select Sonny Bill". Sky Sports. 8 August 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Kiwis to wait on Webb and Matai". BBC. 7 October 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
  15. ^ "First Kiwis Train-On Squad Named",; retrieved 5 September 2012.

External links edit