Born in Bega, he was once just a young man, a country boy that loved his footy, and barracked for the Blues from his loungeroom. Now he’s one of the NRL’s greatest big game players, and he’s ready to go to the next level. It’s time for Dale Finucane to enter the Origin arena.
The Melbourne lock has played 173 NRL games, debuting for the Bulldogs in 2012, he’s been quite a lucky man. Finucane is as tough as they come and has well and truly earned his status in the game, but he’s been fortunate when it comes to the teams he’s played.
Dale Finucane has featured in five of the last seven NRL Grand Finals. He played in the 2012 and 2014 deciders for Canterbury, before shifting to Melbourne and playing three straight in 2016, 2017 and 2018. And with the way he and his club are travelling this year, it could be four straight.
Dave Klemmer has a fractured wrist, ruling him out of Game II and possibly Game III of the series. Instead of directly bringing a new prop, Fittler must shuffle his side in order to accommodate for Finucane to snare his maiden sky blue jersey.
Instead of bringing a new front-rower into the fold, Jake Trbojevic can shift to prop which allows Cam Murray to start at lock forward. Opening up a spot for a ‘middle third’ player in Finucane to join the side via the bench.
Finucane has featured in the outskirts of Origin conversations for years, yet is continually overlooked due to his no-frills style of play. He isn’t the one to make a line break or an extraordinary play. He puts his head down and he works for his team.
Despite only boasting one win, for any player to feature in five Grand Finals is elite, especially at the age of 27. He’s been in the big games, he knows what to expect. And he knows how to deliver.
It doesn’t matter what jersey you whack on his back, you just know he’s going to get his job done, and lead for his team. He’s done it countless times at club level, it’s time he gets the chance to do it on the biggest stage in rugby league, State of Origin.