Shane Elford bigraphy, stories - Australian rugby league player

Shane Elford : biography

28 December 1977 -

Shane Elford (born 28 December 1977 in Penrith, New South Wales), is a former Australian rugby league player for the Penrith Panthers and Wests Tigers in the National Rugby League (NRL). He played mostly at Centre.

Career

Joining Wests Tigers from 2004, Elford was a member of the 2005 NRL Grand Final-winning team, playing at centre in their 30–16 win over the North Queensland Cowboys. Despite an announcement that Elford would be joining the South Sydney Rabbitohs from 2006, he remained with the club for another year.

Following injuries to Benji Marshall and Paul Whatuira during the 2006 season, Elford was trialled at five-eighth during rounds 21 to 26. His first assignment was handling Brisbane Broncos captain Darren Lockyer. The Tigers won that match 20–6 and were the third-last club to beat the eventual premiers before the finals. This was seen as a massive upset as the Tigers were without Marshall, Whatuira and captain Brett Hodgson for the remainder of the 2006 season, and the Broncos were at full strength.

At the end of 2006, Elford signed a three-year contract with English club Huddersfield, saying he was influenced by the signing of former team-mate John Skandalis and the recommendation of Brad Drew.

Elford signed a one-year deal with his former club Penrith after being released by Hudderfield in 2008.Elford rejoins Penrith http://sport.aol.co.uk/rugby-league/elford-rejoins-penrith/article/2008102707110098657998 Elford said, "When I left the Tigers I never thought I'd come back to the NRL but once the offer from the Panthers came up, it was too good an opportunity to pass up."

In 2010, Elford scored four tries from his five appearances. In his last NRL game, Elford captained the Panthers team from the wing in the absence of State of Origin players Petero Civoniceva, Trent Waterhouse, and Luke Lewis. A serious knee injury saw him play no further games.

After his retirement, Elford was employed by the Panthers as a full-time Welfare Education Officer, helping young players adjust when they relocated after joining the club.

Career highlights

  • Junior Club: St Marys
  • First Grade Debut: Round 21, Penrith v Canberra at Canberra Stadium, 2 August 1998
  • First Grade Record: 184 appearances scoring 56 tries
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