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Fitzy grateful for Finucane legacy

True Blue Dale Finucane is leaving a powerful legacy in Rugby League, according to his current NRL coach and former NSW Origin assistant coach Craig Fitzgibbon.

Finucane announced his immediate retirement today after 251 games across three NRL clubs, five games for the Westpac NSW Blues, and four for NSW Country.

Fitzgibbon was on the NSW coaching staff when Finucane made his debut in 2019.

"If we were to channel any sort of energy that Dale's provided and play with that similar spirit and selflessness in the way that he's conducted himself over the course of his career and if that can rub off on our footy, that's a powerful motivator,” said Fitzgibbon, Head Coach at the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

"Dale's signing is one of the most significant signings our club will ever make. Besides just being a great man, I feel like he has just delivered in spades. 

True Blues and good friends Damien Cook and Dale Finucane at his 250th game: NRL Photos
True Blues and good friends Damien Cook and Dale Finucane at his 250th game: NRL Photos

"He's changed the fabric of the way the boys prepare for a game of footy, the way they carry themselves, and I don't think our club will ever forget his time here."

Finucane said a series of concussions had led him to retire with one year left on his contract.

"Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a neurologist around concussions. There were no decisions to make – it was that I would not return to play," Finucane told a media conference. "At the end of the day it was just not possible."

"I’m disappointed about the premature end to how it’s finished but I’m excited for the next chapter of my life."

Finucane played in the middle for his five Origin games and was a part of two winning series in 2019 and 2021.

He made his debut at lock in Game Two 2019, which the Blues won 38-6, and ended his Origin stint in Game Three 2021 starting at prop.

He celebrated his 250 NRL games milestone last month playing for the Sharks against one of his former clubs, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

He made his debut with the Bulldogs (2012-2014) playing 66 games before a seven-year, 152-game association with Melbourne Storm (2015-2021), and finally three games with the Sharks (2022-2024).

In the lead-up to his 250th Storm coach and former NSW Blues coach, Craig Bellamy, said Finucane’s game preparation was the best he’d ever seen, which made him so good on the field.

“The thing for me in always admiring him as a player was he was just so consistent – you knew he would give his absolute best every single game; he was so reliable,” Bellamy told

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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