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FAMILIAR FACES: NICK FOZZARD

13th March 2019

FAMILIAR FACES: NICK FOZZARD

This week for Throwback Thursday, we look at a true Rugby League great who played for both Huddersfield Giants and St Helens, Nick Fozzard

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By Alex Robinson

As Huddersfield Giants aim to clinch back-to-back wins after a hard-fought win last week, we take an in-depth look at familiar face who has played for both clubs.

We take a closer look at a player who has played for seven clubs and who played for the Giants between 1997-01 and had two stints at St Helens – Nick Fozzard.

We take a look at Fozzard who had a good 19-year playing career, playing over 250 games for Great Britain, Yorkshire, Leeds Rhinos, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, St Helens, Hull KR, Castleford Tigers and Dewsbury Rams and winning some trophies along the way.

A fearsome front-rower and often a fan favourite at the clubs he played for, Fozzard started his career with Leeds Rhinos and was at the club between 1993 and 1997 before signing for Huddersfield Giants. He was part of the team that merged with Sheffield Eagles, becoming Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants. Fozzard would go onto play 30 game for the Giants, before the Giants resorted back to Huddersfield Giants. But his final two seasons for the Giants would be painful for the forward as a serious arm injury and a life-threatening illness marred his stint at the club. After a stomach illness which was a serious case of food poisoning, Fozzard lost a considerable amount of weight from 17st to 11st. After he returned to full fitness, he suffered a bad arm break at London Broncos and then broke it again as he was just about to get going again for the club and moved to Warrington Wolves in 2002.

He played 26 games in the 2002 season for Warrington and played in 26 Super League games for the club in 2003 with the most notable game being the 22-32 defeat to Leeds Rhinos which saw Fozzard being sent off for a head butt on opposite number Barrie McDermott. Fozzard then signed for St Helens for the 2004 season where he would go onto make a name for himself and win major trophies for the Saints

It didn’t take long for Fozzard to win some silverware for St Helens having started in St Helens 32-16 victory over Wigan Warriors in the 2004 Challenge Cup Final. In 2005 Fozzard made his one and only appearance for Great Britain in the Rugby League Tri-Nations, he came off the bench in Britain’s 26-42 loss against New Zealand at Loftus Road.

Fozzard was not selected for the 2006 Final in which St Helens beat Huddersfield Giants 42-12. St Helens went onto win the League Leaders Shield and they beat Hull FC in the 2006 Grand Final 26-4 but again Fozzard wasn’t selected. As 2006 Super League Champions, St Helens faced Brisbane Broncos in the 2007 World Club Challenge. Fozzard played as a prop in the Saints 18-14 victory. Later in the year, Fozzard would go onto playing in two finals for St Helens. He won his second Challenge Cup in St Helens 30-8 victory against Catalans Dragons and played in the 2007 Grand Final but couldn’t prevent his time losing 33-6 against Leeds Rhinos. His performances earned him a place in the 2007 Super League Dream Team.

In 2008 St Helens once again found themselves playing in the Challenge Cup Final for the 3rd consecutive year. They beat Hull FC 28-16 but Fozzard was denied an appearance after Maurie Fa’asavalu recovered from a hamstring problem. It was a repeat of the 2007 Grand Final in 2008, as Leeds beat St Helens 24-16, however, Fozzard came off the bench before signing for Hull KR for the 2009 season.

His performances earned Hull KR 4th place in only their 3rd season back in Super League but after being released in the final year of his contract he resigned for St Helens. In 2010 St Helens played their fourth consecutive Grand Final but again for the fourth time was on the losing side, as Wigan recorded a 22-10 win in which Fozzard wasn’t selected as after a poor start to the 2010 season, Fozzard was dropped by coach Mick Potter.

Fozzard signed for Castleford Tigers for the 2011 season and made 19 appearances for them before signing for Dewsbury Rams in 2012 which would be his last year playing rugby league. At 35 years old he hung up his boots up after suffering a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder as he swapped the dressing room for the board room.

He joined one of his former clubs, Castleford Tigers, as their commercial director but left the role eleven months later after Chief Executive Steve Ferres stepped down. In 2013 Wakefield appointed him as their new business development manager in which he took the job for seven months before leaving rugby league behind. He is now working as a business development managers for Keats Land Services & Haart Minerals.

 

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