TODAY |

James Maloney credits club hopping for NRL successes

James Maloney credits his club-hopping as a big factor in his success as prepares to leave the NRL for yet another fresh start.

A decade after his debut at Melbourne, Maloney will head to Catalans Dragons in the English Super League as one of the most accomplished halves of recent times.

A veteran of five NRL clubs, Maloney has played under three premiership-winning coaches in Craig Bellamy, Trent Robinson and Shane Flanagan.

One-club players are often revered in rugby league, but Maloney has proven moving can have great educational benefit, having never stayed at any club more than three years.

His club career has included stints alongside the likes of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Shaun Johnson, Mitchell Pearce and now young gun Nathan Cleary at Penrith.

"The one thing I have enjoyed about moving around is you get so many different opinions and ways to look at football," Maloney said.

"My knowledge of football because of that is really good. It's something I've really enjoyed."

That knowledge bank has paid off ahead of his last NRL game, against Newcastle on Sunday, before he flies out of Australia next month.

He is one of just four playmakers in the game's history to take four separate clubs to the finals, alongside Brett Kimmorley, Brett Finch and Jason Smith.

He is also the only half in the game's history to have taken three clubs to grand finals - winning titles with the Sydney Roosters and Cronulla while also piloting the Warriors to the decider in 2011.

"I understand that I have been pretty fortunate to achieve a bit," Maloney said.

"Everyone wants to win a premiership but they're not easy to win. There are a lot of really good players who never get to play in grand finals.

"Down the track it will definitely be something when I look back on my career I will be pretty proud of."

Fittingly, Maloney will finish his NRL career playing against Mitchell Pearce - the man he won a State of Origin series alongside two months ago and a premiership with in 2013.

But after so many farewells across so many clubs in the past 10 seasons, it's easy for the 33-year-old to forget Sunday will be his last match in the NRL.

"I keep getting asked about what the feeling is like. The fact I'm not retiring," Maloney said.

"It just feels to me like I'm moving to another club, which is something I have done regularly and plenty of times before."

James Maloney celebrates Cronulla's first premiership. Source: 1 NEWS


More From