Andrew Ettingshausen

Andrew Ettingshausen

Andrew Ettingshausen
Personal information
Nickname ET
Born (1965-10-29) 29 October 1965 [1]
Sutherland, New South Wales
Playing information
Height 182 cm (6 ft 0 in)[1][2]
Weight 83 kg (13 st 1 lb)[2]
Position Fullback, Centre, Wing
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1983–00 Cronulla-Sutherland 328 165 1 0 662
1986–89 Leeds 30 0 0 120
Total 328 195 1 0 782
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1988–96 City Origin 8 4 0 0 16
1987–98 New South Wales 27 7 0 0 28
1988–94 Australia 25 14 0 0 56
1997 New South Wales (SL) 3 3 0 0 12
1997 Australia (SL) 4 0 0 0 0
Source: Rugby League Project and Yesterday's Hero

Andrew Ettingshausen (born 29 October 1965 in Sutherland, New South Wales) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. He played his first grade Australian club football for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, retiring at the end of the 2000 NRL season having played 328 first grade games for the club, the NSWRL/ARL/SL/NRL record for most games at a single club.[3]

Known for not only his deceptive pace, good hands, and ability to score tries, but also his solid defence, "ET" as he was known, represented both New South Wales and the Australian Kangaroos and was twice a Kangaroo tourist. After his retirement from league in 2000, Ettingshausen went on to host and produce his own fishing television show titled Escape with ET.

Ettingshausen was originally signed to the Cronulla side as a teenager before making his debut at eighteen while still at school. He quickly cemented a place in the Sharks first grade side and ultimately played 328 first grade games with the club over eighteen seasons.


Early career

Ettingshausen was born in the southern Sydney suburb of Sutherland, and began his rugby league career playing for his local club side at the age of six, though he first began to make inroads while playing for his school side De La Salle where he was subsequently scouted and signed as a junior to the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

While attending Cronulla De La Salle, Ettingshausen played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 1982 and 1983.[4]


Cronulla coach Terry Fearnley gave Andrew Ettingshausen his first grade debut for the Sharks in round 5 of the 1983 season against the Newtown Jets at Fullback. His debut was somewhat of an uneventful affair, although he did cross for a try in the second half; his second match was no improvement as he had a poor game and was substituted at half time to then be dropped the following week to reserve grade. He fought his way back into the side though, playing 14 games for the season, 11 at fullback while scoring another two tries.


For the next few years his career continued to be somewhat of a series of ups and downs scoring a total of six tries over his first two seasons before being sidelined for a considerable amount of time in 1984 following a foot injury meaning he would spend yet again further time in reserve grade.


The 1985 season marked the first season where Ettingshausen started to stamp his mark on the NSWRL and rugby league in general; he scored a total of ten tries playing mostly from fullback or in the centres in his third season and finally cemented his spot in the Sharks squad.

At the conclusion of the 1986 off-season, Ettingshausen and his Sharks centre partner Mark McGaw signed a one-year deal with English club Leeds. Originally to gain further first grade experience and confidence, ET impressed his adopted English club so much they expressed an interest in him to re-join them again when he could. During his stint at Leeds, ET played against the 1986 Kangaroos in a match at Headingley Stadium. Although both he and McGaw played well against their fellow countrymen and were among Leeds best on the day, the Kangaroos, who were on their way to a second consecutive unbeaten Kangaroo Tour, thrashed the home side 44-0.

The following season, Ettingshausen decided to act on the previous season's interest from Leeds and yet again moved overseas in the Australian off-season. During the beginning stages of the season ET voiced his desire to move from off the Wing and into the centres , a move that would pay dividends on returning home to Cronulla. Ettingshausen played in the centre position for almost the rest of his club career.

For the next half a decade Ettingshausen's reputation continued to grow in rugby circles amongst fans and coaches alike, scoring 69 tries in the next six seasons as well as being a regular selection for both New South Wales and Australia.

Ettingshausen also made an appearance in the 1988 Australian television movie The First Kangaroos, which depicted the 1908–09 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain. Also having a small role in the movie was his NSW team mate and captain Wayne Pearce.[5]

1987 saw Ettingshausen make his first start for New South Wales on the wing in Game 1 of the 1987 State of Origin series at Lang Park in Brisbane. ET and Mark McGaw were heavily involved in the last minute try bravely awarded to Michael O'Connor by referee Mick Stone which saw NSW snatch victory 20-16. With no video replay in use, Stone ruled that O'Connor had grounded the ball before it went over the dead ball line, though video replays did prove it was the correct call. After missing Game 2 in Sydney, the last Origin game played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, ET regained his spot for Game 3 in Brisbane and would become a fixture of NSW sides for the next 10 years. ET was also part of the NSW side that defeated Qld in a fourth 'exhibition game' played at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Los Angeles. He scored the first of an eventual 7 Origin tries in that game as NSW won 30-18

The 1988 season was his high point in the early years when he was moved off the wing and into the centres where he would remain for almost all of the rest of his career. He made the first of eight appearances for City Origin in 1988, playing on the wing in City's 20-18 win over Country Origin in the annual City vs Country Origin match. He then went on to be one of the better players for NSW in the 1988 Origin series which Queensland won 3-0. ET was selected for his first test match for Australia. He played all three matches against Great Britain on the wing where he marked Lions flyer Martin Offiah (reported to be the fastest player in top grade rugby league at the time), scoring a try in the second test in Brisbane. With the selectors looking to blood players, he was then overlooked for the test against the lowly ranked Papua New Guinea, while injury prevented his selection for the World Cup Final which Australia won 25-12 against New Zealand in front of a NZ record crowd for rugby league of 47,363 at Auckland's Eden Park. For Cronulla he went on to score seventeen tries in 1988 and played every game for The Sharks in the centres. Cronulla won their first ever minor premiership in 1988, but were bundled out of the Finals after successive losses to the eventual premiers Canterbury-Bankstown and their Grand Final opponents the Balmain Tigers.

Ettingshausen had formed what many considered to be the leagues most dangerous center partnership with Mark McGaw, although Cronulla failed to re-capture their 1988 form and only just scraped into the Finals in 1989 after winning a playoff for 5th place against the Brisbane Broncos at Parramatta Stadium. The Sharks were ousted in the first week of the Finals by eventual premiers Canberra who put in a powerful display to run out 38-14 winners. During the season ET was selected on the bench for Game 1 of the 1989 Origin series and scored The Blues' only try in a devastating 6-36 loss. He was then moved to the centres for Game 2 at the Sydney Football Stadium, but injury prevented him playing Game 3 which saw Queensland win the series 3-0, their second series whitewash in a row. With Qld dominating the Origin series their players dominated selection for Australia's three test tour of New Zealand and Ettingshausen not selected for the team.

After a personally successful 1990 NSWRL season in which he played fullback in all three Origin games for NSW which saw The Blues win the series for the first time since 1986, and after scoring 13 tries in 20 games for Cronulla, he was selected for the 17th Kangaroo Tour of Great Britain and France where he played in all five tests on tour against Great Britain and France. ET came of age on tour and played in 12 games on tour and finished as the highest try scorer for the 28-man touring squad with 15, including scoring hat-tricks against powerhouse English sides St Helens and Wigan in his opening two games. It was this effort which cemented his place in the first test against Great Britain at Wembley Stadium where the home side pulled off a shock 19-12 win, their first test win on home soil against Australia since the second test of the 1978 Kangaroo tour. Despite the loss, Australia bounced back and secured The Ashes with wins at Old Trafford and Elland Road with ET scoring his only try of the test series in the 14-0 win in the deciding test. He then went on to score 3 tries in the 2-0 series win over France to end the successful tour.

Ettingshausen's form continued for Cronulla into the 1991 NSWRL season and he was selected in the centres for NSW in game one of the 1991 State of Origin series. He was moved to fullback for Game 2 in Sydney following an injury to Penrith's Greg Alexander and played well despite the atrocious conditions with heavy rain falling throughout, but himself missed Game 3 through injury. ET then retained his wing spot in the Australian team for the first Trans-Tasman test against New Zealand at the Olympic Park Stadium in Melbourne. After a shock 24-8 loss to the enthusiastic Kiwi's, ET was moved to fullback for the remaining two tests and was among Australia's best for the series after they won Game 2 44-0 in Sydney and 40-14 in Brisbane. Injuries slowed the rest of his season for Cronulla although he ended up with 10 tries from 15 games. At seasons end he was selected in the centres for a two test tour to Papua New Guinea against The Kumuls, scoring 3 tries in the two games.


Ettingshausen lent his name to a computer game, E.T.'s Rugby League, which was released in 1992. The 1992 and 1993 seasons were somewhat quiet ones for Ettingshausen whom continued to battle injury through large periods. Despite a slow start to the 1992 NSWRL season playing fullback for the Sharks, ET was picked at fullback for NSW for all three games of the 1992 Origin series which saw NSW win 2-1. He was then picked at fullback for all three tests against Great Britain in the The Ashes. His defensive skills and speed were in evidence in Game 1 in Sydney when he prevented flying Lions winger Martin Offiah from scoring two runaway tries. ET later stated that despite being regarded as one of the fastest players in the NSWRL, if not for having less ground to cover he would not have got near Offiah for pace. The Lions easily won Game 2 at Princes Park in Melbourne, but the Aussie's won Game 3 and the series in Brisbane. This would be the only full international series he played in that ET would not score a try. Ettingshausen would play as many representative games during 1992 as he did for Cronulla, his club season halted by injury after Round 12. The injury caused him to miss selection for Australia's successful tour to England for the World Cup Final against Great Britain.

Ettingshausen missed the early part of the 1993 season after contracting malaria on a fishing trip to Papua New Guinea. When fit, ET's form was good enough to be selected on the wing for NSW for games 1 and 2 of the 1993 Origin series and at centre for Game 3. He missed selection for Australia for Game 1 of their two test tour of New Zealand but was called into sit on the reserves bench for Games 2 and Game 3 (played in Palmerston North and Brisbane). Cronulla coach Arthur Beetson moved ET to five-eighth in Round 6 of the season and he played there for the rest of the season, gaining praise for his play in an unfamiliar position.

1994 saw ET back at his best, seeing him score a total of 18 tries from just 18 games and leading the Sharks by example after also being awarded the captaincy of the Sharks. Five of his 18 tries came in one match against South Sydney at The Sharks home ground, Endeavour Field in Round 22 as the Sharks humiliated the Rabbitohs 42-0.[6] With his 3rd try against Manly-Warringah in Round 5 (his 6th of the season), ET brought up his 100th try for the Cronulla club. He would finish the season with 112 tries for Cronulla. At the end of the 1994 season, he was selected for his second Kangaroo tour. In almost a carbon copy of his 1990 Tour, Ettingshausen was the team's top try scorer with 15 from 11 games played which included all three tests playing on the wing against Great Britain and the single test against France. Ettingshausen remains the only player to be the leading try scorer on consecutive Kangaroo tours.

Ettingshausen continued to be the marquee player both for the Cronulla club, topping the Sharks scoring lists from the 1994 to 1996 seasons, as well as becoming the face of the competition, often heading marketing campaigns. The Sharks joined Australia's Super League in 1997 and competed in the new competition that year, scoring the Sharks first try of the season against Canberra at the Sydney Football Stadium. Ettinghausen captained Cronulla-Sutherland to the Grand Final, but they lost 26-8 to the Brisbane Broncos in front of 58,912 fans at the ANZ Stadium in Brisbane (the Broncos home ground) in what was the first night Grand Final played in Australia and the first not to be played in Sydney. He then toured with the Australian SL team to Great Britain and France at the end of 1997, playing all four tests (three against Great Britain and one against France) in the centres. Other than the 1992 Ashes series, this was the only time ET failed to score a try for Australia in a full test series.

ET further succumbed to injury midway into the 1998 season, hampering his chances at playing for the Sharks and threatening to prematurely end his rugby career. Andrew battled back from injury to play for another two seasons of first grade before his back problem was diagnosed as being chronic in the 2000 season and he played his final game for the Sharks against the Auckland Warriors that year.

He ended up playing a total of 328 first grade games, all for Cronulla which at the time became the record for the most games for a single club, and 6th highest overall. His record was broken when Darren Lockyer played his 329th game for the Brisbane Broncos in Round 25 of the 2009 NRL season. As of the 2013 NRL season, ET sits 6th on the NSWRL/ARL/SL/NRL all-time games list behind Lockyer (355), Terry Lamb (349), Steve Menzies (349), Brad Fittler (336) and Cliff Lyons (332).


During the 1991 NSWRL season Ettingshausen filed a defamation lawsuit against the Australian HQ magazine and photographer Brett Cochrane.[7] Cochrane had taken a photo of Ettingshausen while he was in the shower on the 1990 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain. The magazine ran the shot in 1991 without his permission. Ettingshausen successfully sued the magazine for originally $350,000 which was later reduced to $100,000 after appeal.[8]

In early 2012 Ettingshausen was accused by former Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks teammate Paul Mellor of having an extramarital affair with his wife. The scandal has been compared to that of former AFL footballer Wayne Carey.[9]

City Origin

Andrew Ettingshausen first played in the annual City vs Country Origin game in 1988. He would go on to make eight appearances for the team until his final selection in 1996. ET scored 4 tries in the 8 games, and in a pointer to higher representative honors, his first game was on the wing. Unfortunately for ET, his good handling and natural speed, plus the depth of Australian centres with players like Mal Meninga, Mark McGaw, Michael O'Connor, Laurie Daley, Brad Fittler and Steve Renouf, would see him play most of his rep career either on the wing or at fullback rather than in the centres where he played for the Sharks.

New South Wales

Ettingshausen made his New South Wales debut in the 1987 State of Origin series and over the next nine years went on to bring his tally of State of Origin games to twenty-seven. This stands in 2nd place for most appearances for NSW (behind Brad Fittler) and in 5th place overall for the most appearances. He made his debut on the wing but went on to cover both the positions of fullback and centre, scoring a total of seven Origin tries, plus another three in his three games for NSW during the 1997 Super League Tri-series where he played all games, including the series Final against Queensland at the ANZ Stadium in Brisbane, in the centres. The game was drawn 18-18 at the end of regular time (80 minutes) and 22-22 after a further 20 minutes of extra time, and only ended only after NSW halfback Noel Goldthorpe kicked a field goal in the 104th minute. This made it the longest-ever game of first class rugby league.

In 2005 he was named one of the 25 greatest ever NSW players.


He made his debut for Australia in the Ashes series against Great Britain at the Sydney Football Stadium in 1988 on the wing and continued to be a regular member of the Australian side for nearly on a decade. Ettingshausen was selected for the 1990 Kangaroo Tour, and against Papua New Guinea following the 1991 season, along with playing in a three test series earlier in 1991 against New Zealand where he played on the wing for the 1st game in Melbourne where he was rated as one of Australia's best in a beaten side, and was moved to his preferred fullback spot for the second and third tests where Australia won 44-0 and 40-12 in Sydney and Brisbane.

He played at fullback for all three Tests of the 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia, helping Australia retain The Ashes that they had held since 1974. ET was involved in two try saving tackles in the first half of the opening test at the Sydney Football Stadium, each time bundling flying Lions winger Martin Offiah into touch. The 1992 Ashes series against the Lions was the first of only two Test series (not including the Super League series in 1997) he played in where he failed to score a try himself. Injury unfortunately prevented him from selection in for Australia's one off test against Papua New Guinea in Townsville a few weeks after The Ashes series. Injury also prevented his selection in Australia's winning World Cup Final winning squad at the end of the 1992 season.

After playing from the bench in the 3 tests against New Zealand in 1993 (losing his test fullback spot to Queensland fullback Dale Shearer), he played on the wing in the first Test match played against France in Sydney since 1981 at the Parramatta Stadium in mid-1994, scoring a try in the Kangaroos record 58-0 win, before embarking on his second Kangaroo Tour at the end of the 1994 NSWRL season. ET played in all three Tests on tour against Great Britain, again retaining The Ashes, and the single test against France where he scored a hat trick of tries as the Kangaroos beat their record from earlier in the year, winning 74-0. At the conclusion of the tour, ET had earned the distinction of becoming the first player since Bob Fulton in 1973 and 1978 to be the top try-scorer on consecutive Kangaroo tours (Fulton was the Kangaroos coach in both 1990 and 1994).

ET played his final international in 1997 for the Australian Super League team in the Super League Test series against Great Britain on what was his third tour of England. Ironically, after playing most of his test career at either fullback or on the wing, ET's Super League tests for Australia were played in the centres. Unfortunately though, while other countries count tests played under Super League in their official records, the Australian Rugby League refuses to count test and representative games played under the SL banner as official.

With age and injuries starting to catch up to him, ET retired from representative football in 1999, bringing the end to a glittering representative career.

Career playing statistics

Ettingshausen's 165 tries is the fourth highest tally in Australian first grade rugby league, behind Ken Irvine (212), Steven Menzies (180) and Billy Slater (170). His tally is also the highest total for any player who played their entire career at a single club as Irvine (North Sydney and Manly) and Menzies (Manly and Northern Eagles) scored tries for more than one club, though Irvine holds the record for most tries at any single club, having scored 171 of his 212 career tries for North Sydney.

Andrew Ettingshausen is one of nine players to have scored more than 150 tries in his NSWRL/ARL/SL/NRL career.

Point scoring summary

Games Tries Goals F/G Points
328 165 1 662

Matches played

Team Matches Tries Years
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 328 165 1983–2000
Leeds Rhinos N/A 30 1986–1987
City Origin 8 4 1988–1996
New South Wales 30 10 1987–1998
Australia 29 14 1988–1997


As of the end of the 2014 NRL season
Player Club Games Years
Darren Lockyer Brisbane Broncos 355 1958-1970
Terry Lamb Western Suburbs
350 1980-1996
Steve Menzies Manly-Warringah
Northern Eagles
349 1993–1999, 2003-2008
Brad Fittler Penrith
Sydney Roosters
336 1989-2004
Cliff Lyons North Sydney
332 1993–1999, 2003-2008
Nathan Hindmarsh Parramatta 330 1998-2012
Andrew Ettingshausen Cronulla-Sutherland 328 1983–2000

Most Tries at a single club

As of the end of the 2014 NRL season
Player Club Games Tries Years
Ken Irvine North Sydney 176 171 1958-1970
Billy Slater Melbourne Storm 270 170 2003-present
Andrew Ettingshausen Cronulla-Sutherland 328 165 1983–2000
Hazem El Masri Canterbury-Bankstown 317 159 1996–2009
Steve Menzies Manly-Warringah 280 151 1993–1999, 2003-2008

Players with 150 NRL Tries

As of the end of the 2014 NRL season
Player Club Games Tries Years
Ken Irvine North Sydney
236 212 1958-1973
Steve Menzies Manly-Warringah
Northern Eagles
349 180 1993-2008
Billy Slater Melbourne Storm 270 170 2003-present
Andrew Ettingshausen Cronulla-Sutherland 328 165 1983–2000
Terry Lamb Western Suburbs
350 164 1980-1996
Hazem El Masri Canterbury-Bankstown 317 159 1996–2009
Matt Sing Penrith
Sydney City
North Queensland
275 159 1993-2006
Nathan Merritt South Sydney
237 154 2002-2014
Harold Horder South Sydney
North Sydney
?? 152 1912-1923

Post Playing

During the 1992 rugby league season, a game was developed and released by Audiogenic worldwide and Ozi Soft in Australia titled 'ET's Rugby League.

The game was a rugby league game with 2d graphics and was made available for Amiga, Commodore C64 and IBM PC on 8 September 1992. The game is also available as Wembley Rugby League in England, the only difference between the two versions being the inclusion of English competition sides rather than the Australian ones and the game runs at around twice the speed of ET's Rugby League.

After the 2005 Cronulla riots Ettingshausen was selected along with fellow sports stars Susie Maroney, Nick Davis, Mark Ella and former Sharks team mate Jason Stevens to head the $250,000 NSW government campaign to promote Sydney's beach suburbs as safe for everyone.[10]

During the 2005 rugby league season ET was appointed as a consultant with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks first grade side.

In February 2008, Ettingshausen was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (1908–2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia.[11]

E.T.'s Rugby League

Was a Video game named for Andrew Ettingshausen, was released on Amiga in 1992.

ET Stand

In 1992, the Cronulla club extended their ground at Endeavour Field, adding a new stand to the ground at a cost of 2.5 million dollars. The club originally calling the stand the 'Western Endeavour' grandstand but with the retirement of Andrew Ettingshausen in 2000 the club decided to name it the 'Andrew Ettingshausen' stand in his honour.

Sharks Immortal

2003 saw the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks name the top ten Sharks legends of all-time as nominated by fans and picked by a panel of experts. Ettingshausen was named amongst the ten and was then further honoured by being picked as one of the three first immortals of the club along with Gavin Miller and Steve Rogers

Escape with ET

With his retirement from rugby league Ettingshausen launched his media career with his own television show on the Nine Network in 1997 titled, Escape with ET. The show is essentially a fishing show hosted by Ettingshausen though it also focuses on many water sports (such as white water rafting and wakeboarding), off-road 4WD driving and other outdoors activities.

The show has been currently running for eight years to date and in 2005 moved to rival network Network Ten. It usually had a celebrity appearing on each episode including former rugby league players such as David Peachey and Ryan Girdler along with others including Paul Kelly, John Barnes, Layne Beachley amongst others.


  1. ^ a b "Andrew Ettingshausen". Sports Data. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Andrew Ettingshausen". Yahoo! 7 Sport. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Edwards, Brent (27 June 2010). "Legend Lockyer an inspiration".  
  4. ^ "SportingPulse Homepage for Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League". SportingPulse. Retrieved 10 October 2008. 
  5. ^ John Robinson and Garrett Jones (8 June 1988). "Family fights to clear League Hero's Name".  
  6. ^ 1994 Cronulla vs South Sydney highlights
  7. ^ "You must be skidding - artist hopes for a runway success". The Sydney Morning Herald. 11 August 2004. 
  8. ^ Rolph, David; Beveridge, Fiona; Velluti, Samantha (2008). Reputation, Celebrity and Defamation Law. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 153.  
  9. ^ "Andrew Ettingshausen hit by claims of affair with teammate Paul Mellor's wife".  
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Centenary of Rugby League – The Players".  

Further reading

External links

  • Andrew Ettingshausen scoring statistics
  • Escape with ET, television show official website

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