Brett Papworth played first grade rugby league for the Eastern Suburbs Roosters in the New South Wales Rugby League competition. He had formerly been an Australian rugby union international. His position of choice was usually at centre.
Papworth commenced his rugby career with rugby union side Eastwood in the New South Wales competition and proceeded to make a total of fifteen test appearances for the Australian Wallabies side between 1985 and 1987 prior to switching to rugby league the following year.
Papworth elected to sign for the Eastern Suburbs side at the commencement of the 1988 season but his progress was hampered with a series of injuries. Over the next five years in rugby league Papworth’s considerable talents were rarely on show; successive breaks to his jaw, shoulders and knees limited his game time to but five appearances. At the conclusion of the 1991 season Papworth announced his decision to retire.