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Paul Gallen
Gallen in 2009
Personal information
Nickname Gal[1]
Born 14 August 1981 (1981-08-14) (age 28)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 102 kg (16 st 1 lb)
Playing information
Position Second-row, Lock
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2001– Cronulla-Sutherland 157 37 0 0 148
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2006–09 New South Wales 8 0 0 0 0
2008–09 Australia 9 2 0 0 8
As of 23 November 2008
Source: NRL Stats

Paul Gallen (born 14 August 1981 in Sydney, New South Wales) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks of the National Rugby League. Gallen's position of choice is in the Second Row though he has also frequently played at lock and occasionally at five-eighth. An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative, Gallen is known for his tremendous workrate in both attack and defence and also the chronic ill-discipline throughout his career. His brother Peter Gallen is in the Cronulla Sharks Toyota Cup team.[2]


Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks



Paul Gallen made his first-grade rugby league début for the Cronulla Sharks against the Parramatta Eels in round 15 at Toyota Park on 3 June. His debut was an unhappy one as Cronulla lost the match 36 points to 6. He only made one more appearance that season in the final round, round 24, when he was involved in his first ever win at first-grade level, when the Sharks were victorious over the Brisbane Broncos by 24 points to 16.


In round 14 the Sharks beat the Canberra Raiders by 36 points to 26. But the game was more significant for Gallen in that he scored his first ever try at first-grade level.

In total, Gallen made 21 appearances in his second season at first-grade level for the Cronulla Sharks, scoring just the one try in the process which was the first try of his career.


In round 11 against the Newcastle Knights and with Cronulla trailing 22 points to 20, Paul Gallen was sent off by referee Paul Simpkins after his high shot on Sean Rudder. Fortunately for Gallen and Cronulla, they managed to overcome the odds and defeat the Knights 30 points to 24.[3]

Gallen made a total of 17 first-grade appearances for the club in 2003, scoring five tries in the process.


In the opening round of the year against the Wests Tigers, Gallen was involved in a fight which saw him suspended for two weeks after the NRL judiciary found him guilty of a contrary conduct charge. The judiciary decided that he had "instigated and tried to go on with a fight involving Wests Tigers prop John Skandalis". However, he sustained an elbow injury during the match which ruled him out until round six of the competition. Gallen was the only player in round one to contest his charge.[4]

In round 11 against the Manly Sea Eagles, Gallen scored an impressive two tries in his sides 30 points to 28 victory.[5]

In June it was announced that Gallen had "extended his contract for another three seasons"[6]

In the 2004 season, Gallen made a total of 19 appearances for the club and scoring five tries.


In round 24, the Sharks scored their biggest ever victory, scoring a 68 points to 6 win over the Manly Sea Eagles, with Gallen scoring a try.

Cronulla finished in seventh place and therefore qualified to be involved in the finals series. They were drawn against the second placed side, which happened to be local rivals St. George-Illawarra. In the match Gallen managed to score a try for Cronulla however it wasn't enough to save the Sharks from losing the match 28 points to 22.

Gallen was presented the Cronulla Sharks Chairman's Award in 2005 by the clubs President Barry Pierce after his impressive season where he led the NRL in both hit ups and off loads.[7] At the Dally M Awards, he was also nominated for the position of "Best Lock". However, he lost out to Manly lock Ben Kennedy.

In the 2005 season, Gallen played a total of 25 games in first-grade for the Sharks and in the process scoring six tries.


Before the season started it was discovered that Gallen was suffering from a bulging disc in his lower back. After having surgery he wanted to return to action just a week after having the surgery done. He ended up making his comeback within nine weeks which amazed the Sharks medical staff as it was predicted it would take much longer than that.[8]

Gallen won his first ever representative jersey when he was selected to play for City in the annual City vs Country match. In June, Sharks coach Stuart Raper pleaded with the New South Wales selectors to give Paul Gallen an opportunity to prove his worth at State of Origin level. Raper argued that "Gallen's been consistent for us over the past 18 months and if NSW hiccup on Wednesday night...he'll certainly be knocking on the door."[9] After missing out on selection in the first game, Gallen again failed to make selection for the second match. However, after NSW was thrashed by QLD, the NSW selectors made drastic changes to their team by replacing players that performed poorly. He was selected to play in the third and final match which was to be the State of Origin decider, where QLD came from behind to win 16-14.

Gallen was selected to play in the annual Prime Minister's XIII squad to play Papua New Guinea at the end of September.[10] The Prime Minister's XIII defeated Papua New Guinea 28 points to 8 at Port Moresby but Gallen failed to be selected for the Australian Tri Nations squad. At the end of the season, Paul Gallen won the Supporters Player of the Year award[11]

In September 2006, just days after he was voted the Sharks supporters player of the year, Gallen announced that he was considering leaving the Sharks despite having a year left on his contract. Gallen stated that it wasn't the club or coaching staff that made him consider leaving the club but rather the fact that "I just want to play semi-final football". Gallen also stated that he was "looking for a fresh start and a fresh challenge".[12]

In 2006, Gallen made 18 appearances in first-grade for the Cronulla Sharks, scoring seven tries for the club.


Due to his claims at the end of the previous season that he wanted out of the club, there was much speculation about Paul Gallen's future at the Cronulla Sharks before the season started as his contract was set to expire at the back end of the 2007 season.[13] There were rumours that he would walk out on the club after his contract expired as well as other reports in the media that Manly would sign him as a long-term replacement for recently retired Manly player Ben Kennedy.[14] However, Gallen decided to stay at the club, putting to rest the rumours in the media, by signing a four year deal with Cronulla, meaning that he would stay at the club until 2011 and in the process make him at the one club for ten years.[15] Gallen reportedly turned down a $1.4 million offer from Manly in favour of a $1.1 million deal. Manly confirmed that they were interested in signing him however, Manly denied that they ever made an actual offer for him. Gallen stated that he decided to stay at the Sharks because he was inspired by Nathan Hindmarsh, who had recently signed a contract with the Eels in the aim to be a one-club man. Gallen also cited the fact that he wanted to win a premiership with the club because "you'd be remembered for your whole life here in Cronulla if you were part of that first-ever premiership" as well as the fact that his "old man also wanted me to stay at the Sharks."[13]

In a pre-season trial against South Sydney, Gallen had to be taken from the field with an injury to his ankle. After undergoing an MRI scan on his ankle, Sharks physio Matt Green stated that "the scans have revealed ligament damage but the injury is not as bad as first feared."[16] The injury kept Gallen out until round four of the season when he made his return against the St. George-Illawarra Dragons and he made his first start of the NRL season a week later against the Wests Tigers[17] but only because he was taking painkilling injections before the games.[18] In round 6 against Canberra, Gallen set up a try for Ben Pomeroy before, unfortunately for Gallen, he was forced from the field due to injury during the second half.[19] However, the injury wasn't serious and he was cleared to play in the following round against Newcastle.

It was announced that Gallen had been selected for City to play in the annual City vs Country match but unluckily for him, he was forced to withdraw due to another ankle injury which he sustained in round 7 against Newcastle.[20] The injury however was not serious enough to keep him out for the next NRL fixture against the New Zealand Warriors, but the club doctors believed that his right ankle could not handle playing in the City vs Country match as that would have meant playing three games in the space of six days.[18]

In the match against the Broncos in round 9, Gallen put in another impressive performance, setting up a try in the process.[21] A week later in the match against Canterbury, Gallen sealed the 30-20 points victory with a try in the dying stages of the match and in the process gave the Sharks breathing space.[22] For his effort against the Bulldogs, Gallen was voted as the man of the match.[23] The following week in round 11, Gallen again scored a try in a losing effort against the Roosters.[24]

On 11 June in round 13, Gallen sparked controversy in the local derby match against St. George-Illawarra at Oki Jubilee Stadium in which Cronulla triumphed 20 points to 16. Gallen was accused of taking a dive after copping a high shot by Richie Williams. After the referee awarded the penalty Gallen rose to his feet and winked at his teammates. Gallen defended the incident claiming that he "was hit in the head and it hurt".[25] St. George-Illawarra coach Nathan Brown hit out at Paul Gallen claiming that he "is a tough player, that wouldn't have knocked the top off him." [26] Also in the match, Gallen was placed on report for a head high tackle on Ben Creagh. However, Gallen did manage to set up the first Sharks try for Mitch Brown.[27]

In the days following the game, Gallen continued to come under scrutiny. Gallen explained "We've got a motto here at the Sharks: do whatever it takes to win. That's what I've always done. I'm never going to stop doing that." Gallen continued "we won the game. That's all I care about."[8]

In round 14 against New Zealand, Gallen was again put on report by the referee after a head high tackle on Patrick Ah Van. The judiciary charged him with a grade one careless high tackle which in turn meant that he was suspended for the game against South Sydney in the following round. Cronulla had the bye in round 16 which meant that Gallen hadn't had the previous two weeks to prove himself for selection in the third game of the series in State of Origin. Despite this, Gallen was rewarded for his impressive season to date with a call-up to the New South Wales side for the third State of Origin match, although New South Wales were already 2-0 down in the three game series.

Before the third game of the Origin series, Gallen declared that he "can't wait to be running out and getting booed, I love that sort of stuff. It would mean everything going up there and beating them."[28] After New South Wales had lost the first two games, there was talk that New South Wales lacked passion and Gallen stated that "everybody was sick of hearing it." Just over ten minutes into the match, Gallen put a high shot on Tonie Carroll. Gallen, who was also helped out by his team-mates, then preceded to get in a fight with the opposition. Speaking of the incident after the match, Gallen stated that he and Greg Bird "came here saying that if anyone touches any of us, we're putting it on. I knew it would be a penalty but I knew it would also fire the boys up - it's good for the game."[29]

Gallen was impressive in just his second State of Origin match. In the 55 minutes of the match that he was involved in, he made a total of 127 metres gained as well as making 15 tackles.[30] But even after QLD lost their lock in the first minute, both their wingers during the middle of the game and numerous other injuries to players who couldn't come off due to no more replacements, NSW could not get more than a two point lead until the 72nd minute where they scored two tries, Gallen setting up the final New South Wales try for Hazem El Masri, which in the process capped off a 18 points to 4 New South Wales victory.

After the round 18 loss to the Sydney Roosters, Gallen was charged by the NRL judiciary for a "grade one contrary conduct offence" after he head-butted Roosters' player Shane Shackleton and was subsequently banned for one match.[31]

Round 22 against third placed Parramatta Eels saw the Sharks snap a seven match losing streak in golden point extra time. It was later reported that after the match Gallen was involved in an incident with Reece Williams at winger Dustin Cooper's house. After consuming what was said to be "too much alcohol", team-mates and good friends, Gallen and Williams were involved in a fight. Coach Ricky Stuart stated that although it shouldn't have happened, that there was nothing serious about it as it was only "a scuffle"[32]

At the conclusion of the NRL Premiership, Gallen was rewarded for his fine season with a call up for the Australian squad in a one-off test match against New Zealand on 14 October. However it was announced barely a week before the match that Gallen had to be pulled out of the squad due to a "shoulder injury", with his replacement being Melbourne Storm's Dallas Johnson.[33]


Gallen attracted attention after the round 3 clash with the Titans for "grubby" play. The Sydney Morning Herald even claimed Gallen should face jail time for his facial assault on Anthony Laffranchi, where he allegedly attempted to rip the stitches out of Laffranchi's head wound.[34] Titans player Josh Graham also claimed that Gallen clutched his testicles although this was not proven.[35]

Gallen was selected for all three games in the annual State of Origin series. In the third and decisive game of the series Gallen gave away three penalties and came under heavy criticism from fans for his lack of discipline, in particular for his late hit on Johnathan Thurston. Gallen described the loss as the worst of his career but defended himself saying "they've been saying that those three penalties cost us the game. But there's no way in the world that anyone can say that."[36] Due to his ill discipline in the deciding match, there were calls for Gallen to be sacked as captain of the Sharks but coach Ricky Stuart came out and backed Gallen saying that he should remain the club captain.[37]

In round 18, Gallen scored Cronulla's only try in the top of the table clash in which the Sharks lost to Manly by 34 points to 6. Gallen described the heavy defeat as embarrassing.[38] In the following match against the Newcastle Knights, Gallen was put on report for a high shot on Cooper Vuna. He also gave away several other penalties and claimed that the referees were targeting him.[39]

In 2008 Gallen represented Australia in the Centenary test, scoring a try.

In August Gallen was named in the preliminary 46-man Kangaroos squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup,[40][41] and in October 2008 he was selected in the final 24-man Australia squad.[42]


Although the Cronulla Sharks sat on the bottom of the 2009 NRL ladder after six rounds, Paul Gallen was named in the preliminary 40 man squad for NSW for 2009's State of Origin Series.[citation needed] He was selected for Australia in the one-off test match against New Zealand on 8 May 2009.[43] On the 1st of June 2009. despite earlier reports, Paul Gallen stepped down from his sharks captaincy. Trent Barett took over as full time captain, however due to his season ending injury, Luke Covell was selected as his replacement.

Career highlights

  • Junior Clubs: OLQP Bulldogs Greystanes, Wentworthville
  • First Grade Debut: Round 15, Sharks v Parramatta at Toyota Park, 3 June 2001
  • First Grade Record: 84 appearances scoring 17 tries
  • Representative Matches: One Game for NSW City, 2006- Two Games for NSW

One game for Australia - Centenery test 2008


In December, 2009, Paul Gallen was issued with a criminal infringement notice for urinating in public near the head of a drunken friend. [44]

See also


  1. ^ "Paul GALLEN". 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  2. ^ "Peter Gallen". Cronulla Sharks. 2010. Retrieved 10-03-2010. 
  3. ^ Sharks shock the Knights for spirited win
  4. ^ Gallen suspended for two weeks
  5. ^ Sharks sneak home in nail-biter at Brookvale
  6. ^ Polly return cut short by ankle injury
  7. ^ 2005 end-of-year awards
  8. ^ a b Attitude by the Gallen
  9. ^ Raper wants Gallen in NSW Origin side
  10. ^ Aussie XIII named for PNG
  11. ^ Bird Swoops To Claim Player of The Year Award
  12. ^ I want to quit Sharks - Gallen
  13. ^ a b Gallen a Shark for life
  14. ^ Gallen could replace Kennedy
  15. ^ Gallen Re-Signs With Sharks
  16. ^ Gallen To Miss 4-6 Weeks
  17. ^ Benji the hero as Tigers squeak home
  18. ^ a b Gallen fears for NSW Origin spot
  19. ^ Cronulla claim 26-0 victory over Raiders
  20. ^ Gallen and Douglas out of City-Country clash
  21. ^ Lockyer injured as Sharks beat Broncos
  22. ^ Cronulla withstand Bulldogs comeback
  23. ^ Sharks down Bulldogs to go third
  24. ^ Roosters snatch 13-12 win over Sharks
  25. ^ Shark denies taking a dive
  26. ^ Brown hits out at player 'dives'
  27. ^ Sharks hold off 12-man Dragons for win
  28. ^ Gallen going for jugular
  29. ^ Bash brothers lead the fight
  30. ^ Blues win Game III thriller
  31. ^ Gallen facing one-week ban
  32. ^ Sharks players turn on each other
  33. ^ Gallen out, Johnson in for Kangaroos
  34. ^
  35. ^ Rotten shark should be jailed
  36. ^ Gallen: Don't blame me
  37. ^ Ricky Stuart endorses Paul Gallen as Cronulla Sharks captain
  38. ^ Gallen calls for calm in wake of loss
  39. ^ Refs are picking on me: Gallen
  40. ^ Liam FitzGibbon (2008-08-01). "Surprises in Kangaroos squad". "Fox Sports News (Australia)".,8659,24111780-23214,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  41. ^ "Veteran Lockyer named in Australian squad". International Herald Tribune. 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  42. ^ "Manly six win Australia call-up". BBC. 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  43. ^ Wald, Tom (2009-05-03). "Kangaroos selectors stick by losing World Cup team for New Zealand Test". Fox Sports.,8659,25422175-5016947,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  44. ^ Proszenko, Adrian (12 December 2009). "Gallen in wee bit of strife with law". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 

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