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Fitzgibbon's Sharks sign in-demand Origin forward on four-year deal

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25th July, 2021
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Cronulla have landed another huge signing with Melbourne co-captain Dale Finucane to join them on a four-year-deal from next season.

The 29-year-old knocked back offers from St George Illawarra and Wests Tigers to join new Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon and Storm teammate Nicho Hynes in the Shire from 2022.

The NSW Origin forward was in hot demand on the market and had several offers from rivals clubs to consider, as well as a deal to stay with Melbourne.

However, salary cap pressure at the Storm meant they could not compete to keep the player Craig Bellamy has called one of his favourites.

His impending departure will bring to an end a seven-season spell with the Storm in which Finucane has played in four grand finals and won two premierships in 147 games.

He played in two grand finals with Canterbury in 2012 and 2014 before joining the Storm.

“I’ve been here seven years, played with some great players, enjoyed some success and had the chance to be coached by Craig, one of the best coaches in the history of the game,” Finucane said.

“I’m going to miss the people here, the friendships I’ve made and the way the club is.

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“It’s hard to put it into words how much Storm means to me.

“I’m honoured to have had the chance to experience this club, what it stands for, and I’ll always look fondly on my time here.”

It marks another key acquisition for Fitzgibbon, who has a relationship with Finucane from their time together in NSW camp.

Crucially, he will add another boost of leadership to the Sharks side for next season.

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“Dale has a great relationship and respect for Craig Fitzgibbon through an association at representative level dating back to 2014 with NSW Country and more recently the NSW Origin team, and Craig sees him a senior leader at the club,” Sharks general manager Darren Mooney said.

“He is also someone who can help mentor our young team while setting standards and enhancing the culture we are looking to build.”

© AAP

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