Dane Nielsen (born 10 June 1985 in Mackay, Queensland) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer for the St George Illawarra Dragons of the National Rugby League (NRL). A Queensland State of Origin representative centre, he previously played for NRL clubs, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and the Melbourne Storm, with whom he won the 2009 NRL Grand Final, 2010 World Club Challenge and 2012 NRL Grand final and the New Zealand Warriors in 2013-2014.
Hailing from the North Queensland town of Mackay, Nielsen was a Norths Devils junior.
Professional playing career
Nielsen started his NRL career with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, making his début on 20 July 2007 against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.
In 2008 Nielsen joined the Melbourne Storm, becoming a regular at centre. In 2009 Nielsen was sent-off for a high tackle in the Storm's Round 15 clash with the Wests Tigers. He played for Melbourne on the wing in their 2009 NRL Grand Final win against the Parramatta Eels. Nielsen then went on to play in Melbourne's 2010 World Club Challenge victory against English champions, the Leeds Rhinos.
Nielsen was named as injured Greg Inglis' replacement at centre in the Queensland side for Game I and II of the 2011 State of Origin series.
In May 2012, he signed a 3-year deal with the New Zealand Warriors starting in 2013. Later that year he played in the third and deciding game of the 2012 State of Origin series which Queensland won. At the end of the season Nielsen played for the Melbourne Storm in their 2012 NRL Grand final victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
New Zealand Warriors
Nielsen moved to Auckland for the 2013 New Zealand Warriors season, also the first for the club's new Australian coach Matthew Elliott.
St George Illawarra Dragons
On 19 November 2014, Nielsen signed a two year deal with the St George Illawarra Dragons, starting from the 2015 season.