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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   
Cronulla Sutherland   


REPRESENTATIVE CAREER 1971, 1973, 1975-80GamesTrsGlsF/GPts
CITY-COUNTRY 1971, 1975-78, 1980     
City Seconds 1971, 1975, 1977, 1980                               4---0
City Firsts 1976, 1978                                                            2---0
TOTAL                                                                                        6---0
NEW SOUTH WALES 1976-79     
v. Queensland 1976-78                                                         61--3
v. touring sides 1977, 1979                                                  2---0
TOTAL                                                                                      81--3
AUSTRALIA 1973, 1975, 1977-78     
Tests and World Cup 1973, 1975, 1977-78                     81--3
Tour matches 1973, 1975, 1978                                       163--9
TOTAL                                                                                      244--12
All senior matches                                                              24840--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


Acknowledgement of Country

National 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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