NRL 2021: Wests Tigers rookie Allan Fitzgibbon joins race for NRL’s fastest man
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February 18, 2021 - 7:00AM
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom
The Tigers might have uncovered another contender for the title of rugby league’s fastest man in unknown winger Allan Fitzgibbon.
Wests Tigers are set to unleash a new contender for the title of rugby league’s fastest man in Saturday’s trial against the Roosters in Camden.
Allan Fitzgibbon might be little known to many fans but he’s impressed those around the club with his incredible pace off the mark after joining on a train and trial deal over the off-season.
New recruit James Roberts is still the fastest at Concord, if not the quickest in the game, and the former Origin flyer has been leaving his new teammates for dead all summer - except for Fitzgibbon, who has been able to keep Roberts honest in the pace stakes.
With a graceful running style to go with his raw speed, Fitzgibbon’s style is reminiscent of Josh Addo-Carr, who also got his start at the Tigers before becoming the game’s best winger after transferring to the Storm.
The Tigers are well stocked for wingers with David Nofoaluma, Asu Kepaoa, Tommy Talau and new recruit Daine Laurie, but Fitzgibbon’s athleticism and ability to beat defenders in the open field make him one to watch in the future.
Fitzgibbon previously played in the lower grades at Penrith, scoring three tries in three Canterbury Cup matches in 2019.
He then spent time in the Australian Rugby Sevens set up later that season before returning to rugby league, playing for Redfern All Blacks in last year’s National Indigenous Rugby League Championship.
Fitzgibbon was crowned the fastest man at the tournament, winning a 100 metre dash in a scorching time of 11.1 seconds.
Both the Tigers and Roosters will use this weekend’s trial to blood youngsters and fringe first graders - only players who appeared in less than 12 NRL games last year are eligible to take the field.
Teenage cross-code phenom Joseph Suaalii has been tipped to make his Roosters debut while the Tricolours are also expected to play another promising youngster in 18-year old halfback Sam Walker.