Former NRL player Dale Shearer (Image: agencyxtalent.com.au)

Dale Shearer is a rugby league legend who played 21 tests for Australia, 27 Origins for Queensland and has a premiership to his name with Manly in 1987.

However, he could still argue that he’s underrated and doesn’t get enough credit. Shearer’s career spanned 14 years where he started off with Manly before moving home to Queensland and spending time with Brisbane, Gold Coast, South Queensland and North Queensland.

In between his spells with South Qld and North Qld, he spent a sole season back in Sydney with the Roosters. In total, the fullback notched up 182 first grade games with 72 tries to his name in a stellar career.

Q: How did the nickname Rowdy come about? 

Dale: (It) was actually a bit of Aussie wit. Crusher Cleal came up with the name. I was very quiet being a country boy in the big smoke and was totally focused on my footy so (I was) head down and bum up. Obviously it was opposite, hence the nickname.

Q: You proved yourself to be a versatile player over many seasons. Was fullback your preferred position?

Dale: Loved the open space so yes I enjoyed playing fullback using my speed to the best of my ability and also allowing me to go anywhere on the field. Later half of my career I also loved playing 5/8 as I was more involved in the game, setting up plays and kicking.

Q: You toured with the Kangaroos in 1986 after just 2 seasons in the old NSWRL. What are some of your key memories from that experience for a then 21 year old? 

Dale: The obvious, representing your country and was fortunate with my versatility to play in numerous positions and represent Australia way more than most. Travel was a bonus, visiting different countries and was nice to visit my Pop’s birthplace in Scotland and check out the other half of my heritage.

Q: You spent the longest portion of your career at Manly, winning a Premiership in your 3rd season. What made the Sea Eagles the best side of 1987? 

Dale: (I’m a) huge fan of Bob Fulton (Manly’s coach at the time) – a very clever man. The side was well balanced that year with each player contributing in their own way. (I) should never have left.

Q: You became something of a journeyman later in your career, representing all 4 Queensland clubs at one time or another – which makes you unique! Was there a particular player or coach at one of those clubs who had a major influence in the latter part of your career? 

Dale: Yes, I’m very confident I was the only player to achieve this. Unfortunately due to a couple of these clubs suffering financial hardship, I moved along. As mentioned earlier Fulton ahead of all these coaches, so no coaches later in career had any more to offer. To the point I believe I could have done a better job.

Q: You played an iconic role in the incredible kicking duels in the old Origin days of the early 90s. What brought this about in the game?  

Dale: It was all about getting the opportunity to bash the other team first but in the end I just ran it back.

Q: 1995 was an interesting year. How on earth did that incredibly inexperienced Queensland team claim a 3-0 clean sweep in the '95 Origin Series? You even wore the famous no. 6 jumper that series. 

Dale: We were certainly the underdogs. We believed in ourselves, being the underdogs and hearing how we were going to get flogged only motivated us more. Once we had that first win under our belt we just built momentum from there. I couldn’t wait to play in the number 6. 

Q: 1995 was also the start of the war. You ended up ARL-aligned, spending the 1997 split-competitions season with the Roosters. How difficult was that period in the game? 

Dale: Was not a great period for me injury-wise so that didn’t help but sadly the Crushers struggled with money and I had to move on.

Q: It's over 20 years now since you retired. How can the modern game improve?

Dale: Better refereeing for starters. (They’re) killing the game and results at times. 

Q: How are you and your family doing these days?  

Dale: My two boys are doing well for themselves so that makes me happy enough. Family life is great.

Q: Are you still at home in Queensland?   

Dale: Yes moved to the Sunny Coast in 2002 and still here. Love the outdoors, so love beach life and Qld weather.

Q: How do you keep yourself busy? 

Dale: I have numerous companies that are involved in real estate, sport reports, protective clothing and wine. Keeps me busy enough and looking for opportunity to start property development again.