Steve Price

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Steven John Price, MNZM (born 12 March 1974 in Dalby, Queensland), is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s and 2000s. An Australian international representative, he retired as Queensland's most-capped State of Origin forward. Price captained Sydney club, the Bulldogs (with whom he won the 1995 and 2004 premierships) as well as Auckland club, the Warriors.

Price grew up in Toowoomba, Queensland, where he attended Harristown State High School. Price was spotted playing rugby league for the Newtown Lions club in Toowoomba and was signed to the New South Wales Rugby League Premiership club, Sydney's Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.


Bulldogs

During the 1994 NSWRL season Price made his first grade debut for the Bulldogs at Belmore Sports Ground on 3 July against the Balmain Tigers. It was a great rookie year for Price as his side finished the regular season as minor premiers on top of the ladder and eventually going on to reach the 1994 Grand Final which they lost to Mal Meninga's Canberra Raiders. The disappointment of losing the Grand Final did not last long for Price, as the following year in the 1995 season the Bulldogs reached their second consecutive Grand Final to come up against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. Price was named on the starting line-up and as a headgear-wearing second-rower scored the first try of the game which the Bulldogs eventually won 17–4, giving Price his first taste of premiership victory. The experience of finals football so early in his career was a positive for Price as he established a reputation as an effective front rower/prop and second rower with a high work rate.

During the 1998 season Price made his debut for Queensland in game one of the 1998 State of Origin series. He would retain his spot for the following two matches of series in which Queensland were victorious two games to one. His performance at representative level was then awarded with the highest honour for an Australian player as he was announced in the 1998 Kangaroos squad. In the same year Steve Price and the Bulldogs made a terrific finals run where, after finishing the season in 9th position, they won four must-win matches to make it all the way through to the 1998 NRL Grand Final against the Brisbane Broncos which they lost 38–12.

When Bulldog captain Darren Britt left the club at the end of 2001, coach Steve Folkes opted for Price to captain the side for 2002. He proved to be a great skipper and Bulldogs finished the 2002 season with 20 wins, 1 draw and only 3 losses, although they would not play in the finals due to the salary cap breach. 2003 was another strong year for Price as he was awarded Player of the Year by magazine Rugby League Week; he also captained the sides to 18 regular season wins and a semi-final berth which they lost to the Sydney Roosters. In 2004 Price had a stellar performance playing for Queensland and was awarded the Ron McAuliffe Medal for Queensland player of the series.

During the transfer period in 2004 it was announced that it would be his last year with the Bulldogs after 10 years of service, as he was signing with the New Zealand Warriors for 2005. Price could not have gone out in better style as the Bulldogs finished second on the ladder, missing out on the minor premiership by points difference. Price's fairytale ending was then shattered when he tore his medial ligament the week before the Grand Final. His side played well without their inspirational captain and went on to win 16–13 to send Price out with another Grand Final success, even though he did not compete in the final game.