NRL News | Death of Paul Green, final matchday interview Cronulla Sharks v Dragons Old Boys

Days before his shock death, rugby league great coach and premiership winner Paul Green took a lap around the pitch with former teammates in a moment of reflection.

It was Cronulla Sharks Old Boys Day and, in what would be the last interview he would give before his passing, a smiling Green expressed his gratitude for what the club had done.

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“Great to be back, great night, great crowd and good for Shark Park, so let’s hope the footy is great,” Green said in an on-camera interview posted to Cronulla’s website. (watch it in the player above).

“Lots of great memories and great to be back with all the Old Boys today. It’s been a ton of laughs and really well done by the club.”

With that, Green was able to enjoy the rest of the night with other club greats on whom he left an indelible mark, winning the Rothmans Medal (what is now the Dally M Medal) in his second season as a freshman. in 1995.

The Sharks capped it off, beating fierce local rivals the Dragons 24-18 to cement their place in the top four and keep their two ambitions burning.

It was a fitting way for Green to make his last public appearance: a lap of honor to thank him for what he did for the game. Still, he was certainly not one to seek the limelight.

Green was a quiet family man with a deep love of the game and the gift of a great analytical brain.

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As a player he was quick for a short man, standing just 167cm tall, but it was his speed between the ears that made him a formidable halfback and then a champion coach.

On Thursday, as news of his death spread, the depth of emotion in the tributes told his story best.

Her broken family released a beautiful statement. And one by one, the players he rubbed shoulders with as a star halfback and then as a coach who rose to the top said their bit.

“It’s so sad,” Green’s former Sharks teammate Martin Lang wrote in a post on Twitter.

“Paul was a close friend, we moved together to Sydney in 1993…the start of an outstanding playing/coaching career in the NRL. My heartfelt condolences to Paul’s wife, children and dear mum and dad . Rest In Peace mate.”

NRL shaken by Paul Green’s sudden death

Michael Morgan, the man who threw that pass to set up the last-minute try that tied the 2015 Grand Final before the Cowboys won it to the golden point, added that he didn’t had “never been able to thank him enough”.

“He was more than influential, he helped shape the career I had,” Morgan said on Triple M’s. Rush hour with Leisel, Liam and Dobbo.

“It’s no coincidence once he took over that he gave me an opportunity to be at fullback, it’s a position I’ve never played in before and that made me learned, and I’ve said this throughout my career when he sadly left the Cowboys, how much he taught me the game.

“You grow up playing, you think you know everything, but it just opened up a whole new world of real game knowledge for me.”

The world, and in particular the rugby league community, is a little emptier now following the death of the 49-year-old.

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