The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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This weekend in the ABC televised game against Tweed Heads hard working back rower Danny Burke will play his 150th first grade game for the Redcliffe Dolphins.
Burke, who was signed by the Broncos straight out of high school and was on South Sydney?s books when they were thrown out of the competition in 1999, has been a regular in the uncompromising Dolphins packs of the last several years.
But Burke actually joined the Dolphins as a centre.
"I was 20 and thought my football in the City was all over, I was out at Mitchell when my best mate from school Luke Bishop, who was playing at Redcliffe called and said the club was looking for centres, so I gave them a call," he said.
?They had dozens of back rowers. So I told them I could play centre. But I reckon it only took them a few games to realise I wasn?t a centre?s bootlace? he laughed.
Three Queensland Wizard Cup premierships later, Burke remains one of the unsung heroes of the Dolphins side. Coach Anthony Griffin describes the Q-Build carpenter as ?a coach?s dream?.
?Danny turns up every week ready to play and he really rips into his work,? said Griffin.
Burke won the Peter Leis Medal for the Dolphins Player of the Year in 2005 is well and truly in the hunt again this year but said ? I don?t think I?m a chance, Patty (Gardner), Nick Emmett and Micky (Roberts) have all had great years?.
?I'm not sure if I'll get another Peter Leis Medal, another Premiership is my main goal? he added.
When Burke finally retires his image will be etched onto the windows of the club house with current team-mates Troy Lindsay and Michael Roberts as well as other Dolphins Legends from by gone eras like Ian "Bunny" Pearce, Vic Tighe, Steve Cherry, Trevor Benson, Ian Thinee, Tony Obst, Peter Leis, Col Weier and Bevan Bleakley who have all racked up 150 games for the Dolphins.
Danny Burke Stats
Position: Second Row
Rep Honours: Qld Juniors, City, Qld Residents
First Grade Debut: 2000 vs Wests Purtell Park
Career Games: 149