Fittler urges other greats to have a go

League great Brad Fittler has put his hand up to play in next year's Auckland Nines and has urged every club to include one former great in their squads for the 2015 tournament.

Fittler, who received the biggest cheer of the day with his 80-metre runaway intercept try against the Broncos, came out of retirement for the Nines tournament after 10 years out of the game.

Manly legend Steve Menzies, 40, followed his lead to take part, however, his return to the Sea Eagles after five years wasn't as eventful as Fittler's outing.

The 42-year-old Fittler stole the show after overcoming a corked leg suffered in the first match of the day against Parramatta to lead his Roosters to victory in their second match against Brisbane, smashing Ben Barba in a bruising cover defence tackle in the process.

On a historic day for rugby league, Fittler hinted he would run around again next year - if he recovered from the cork - and believes the idea of a retired player returning for each club would only add interest to the tournament.

''I don't know if I am locked in for tomorrow yet,'' he joked. ''I would do it again next year for sure if I was in good condition. It's awesome. I think every ex-player should strive to come back and have a go.''

It was a David Stagg pass which allowed Fittler to run 80 metres to score right in front of the players' lounge behind the posts at the western end of the ground.

While not many at Eden Park expected to see Fittler in open space, the veteran playmaker was adamant he expected to take an intercept. ''David Stagg, what's he ball-playing for anyway?'' Fittler said.

''I knew I was going to pick someone off. I left it to Staggy. It was great. Out on that pitch it's awesome. The atmosphere is unbelievable. There's nothing like being in space. I wish Marty [Kennedy] wasn't there, I could have slowed up a bit. I am going to have to watch that on reply to see how slow I was. The thing is no one was chasing me. It was only Marty Kennedy who knew I was slow. That's the good thing.''

While expectations on Fittler to perform weren't high, he had plenty of classy touches and proved his comeback was no publicity stunt by holding his own against some of the NRL's best.

''I was hoping to [score a try],'' Fittler said.

''They defend a bit different now so at training I was taking a lot of intercepts. I didn't want to tackle Sonny [Bill Williams] at training. I knew I was going to take an intercept - it was just a matter of when.''

Menzies had limited involvement in the first game against the Cowboys and was unable to inject himself into the contest in the second given the Warriors' dominance in their 25-4 thrashing.

However, the veteran, who started his first-grade career at Manly in 1993 and called it quits at the end of last season after five years in the English Super League, didn't disgrace himself.

''It was pretty quick,'' Menzies said after the first match.

''I don't think I did any hit-ups or touched the ball. That's the way it goes. You're out there doing the best you can. It was good fun. Any time you play in front of a crowd like this it's pretty amazing.

''I think it's a good concept. Hopefully it takes off. It just has the right mix of tries and defence. I think if you stuck 11 on there it would be too much like rugby league and sevens is too try-hungry. I think it's a good mix.''

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