Dale Finucane lines up in Blues camp

Shadow call-up: Dale Finucane was all smiles meeting fans, with the Storm lock called into Blues camp. Picture: Getty
Shadow call-up: Dale Finucane was all smiles meeting fans, with the Storm lock called into Blues camp. Picture: Getty

Melbourne Storm lock, and Bega export, Dale Finucane was flown in to NSW Blues camp on Sunday night to serve as a shadow. 

Finucane, 25, will form part of the preparations for Origin III, but will only get a shot in the contest if captain Boyd Cordner pulls out due to his calf injury. 

Blues coach Laurie Daley called in the Melbourne forward late in the piece to show him the set up for the team in case Cordner doesn’t firm up for the headline round. 

“I’m really excited. I found out after the Parramatta game at about 11 o’clock (Saturday night) and came straight into camp," Finucane told NSWRL.com.au.

"To know that I’m sort of thereabouts and in the squad fills me with confidence - and I really hope the boys go well and can win on Wednesday night.

"To be here is really exciting for me and something I’m really proud of.

“Your first goal is obviously to play consistent NRL and then from there to play State of Origin and represent your country. To play consistent football and hopefully earn myself a spot in the NSW team eventually.”

During a press conference on Monday, Cordner backed his own fitness and said he would be a likely starter, giving Finucane only a slim chance of seeing the coveted blue jersey this year. 

“After yesterday I’m 100 per cent (playing),” Cordner said during the conference.

“ ... At this stage I’m looking to play 80. I haven’t spoken to Loz or anything about what his plans are for me, or interchanges yet for the team, but at this stage I’ll be preparing myself to play 80.

"Since game two it's been a pretty big roller-coaster ride. That's the way it is. I've put a lot of pressure on myself to get right and have done a lot of work. It's that relief now and we've still got the captain's run to go so I don't want to go off too early, but it's all looking pretty good.”

Despite only having a narrow shot at donning the NSW jumper, the call-up speaks volumes about Finucane’s fitness, drive and form over the last 12 months. 

It is a glowing review of the young Bega export, who has also shone in other rep duties including the Auckland Nines and the Country v City Origin matches. 

Finucane also featured alongside Adam Elliott in the farewell round of the Country v City earlier this year. 

Alongside Finucane, Blues coach Laurie Daley has also drafted in Manly's Tom Trbojevic in preparation for Wednesday’s decider. 

If Cordner should pull out of the third contest, Finucane will also be up against the services of Dragon Jack de Bellin – who sits at 18th man currently. 

However, if Cordner pulls up fit, the Blues will put forward the same 17 for the final match of the series. 

If Finucane did get to play, he would know the opposition well with six Storm players lining up for the Queensland team.