The NRL has today paid tribute to Greg Pierce, Cronulla's first Australian Captain, who died yesterday following a long illness, aged 66.
Pierce played 210 matches for Cronulla between 1969 and 1980, playing in the brutal 1973 grand final against Manly.
Following the 1973 grand final, he became the first Cronulla player to represent Australia, and went on to play 24 matches for his country. He captained Australia in 1978 against New Zealand.
He coached the club in 1981-82, and in 2005 was named as a Sharks Immortal.
"Greg was and always will be one of the greatest players to pull on a Cronulla jumper," said NRL CEO Todd Greenberg.
"As an Australian captain, he will forever be a part of a very special club.
"He will be sorely missed by everyone at Cronulla, but also the game which he was such a special part of."
Born: March 4, 1950, Sydney, NSW
|CLUB CAREER 1969-1980|
|REPRESENTATIVE CAREER 1971, 1973, 1975-80||Games||Trs||Gls||F/G||Pts|
|CITY-COUNTRY 1971, 1975-78, 1980|
|City Seconds 1971, 1975, 1977, 1980||4||-||-||-||0|
|City Firsts 1976, 1978||2||-||-||-||0|
|NEW SOUTH WALES 1976-79|
|v. Queensland 1976-78||6||1||-||-||3|
|v. touring sides 1977, 1979||2||-||-||-||0|
|AUSTRALIA 1973, 1975, 1977-78|
|Tests and World Cup 1973, 1975, 1977-78||8||1||-||-||3|
|Tour matches 1973, 1975, 1978||16||3||-||-||9|
|All senior matches||248||40||-||-||120|
Pierce played junior football for Marrickville, Sydenham, Belmore Old Boys and Gymea
The grandson of 1933-34 Kangaroo hooker Arthur Folwell, Pierce made his first grade debut for Cronulla v Penrith at Penrith Park, 22/4/1969 (Rd 5)
He played fullback, centre, lock and second row for the Sharks; and appeared at lock in the 1973 grand final against Manly. He missed the 1978 decider (and replay) through suspension.
He captained the Sharks to their Amco Cup victory in 1979
He toured with the Kangaroos in 1973 and 1978, however his 1978 tour was cut short by a knee injury
He was the first Cronulla player to represent Australia in a Test match (v France 1973) and the first to captain Australia (v New Zealand 1978)
He coached Cronulla in 1981 and 1982 and guided them to the finals in his first season in charge
He was named an Immortal of the Cronulla club in 2005
Source: David Middleton, League Information Services