A Rabbitohs legend and favourite son, Denis Donoghue played ten seasons for South Sydney between 1948–1957, playing 171 games for the club and became a multi premiership winner with them. 
Denis Donoghue was a tough forward, and a crowd favourite at Redfern. Judges like Tom Goodman were quoted in the press at the time stating "he was also one of the best front rowers in the code". A rock-solid defender and strong runner of the ball, his specialty was scrummaging. He was the backbone of the South Sydney Rabbitohs pack, playing in seven grand finals and winning six of them. He retired to the Wollongong competition in 1958, playing as captain-coach for the Collegians, before returning to the South Sydney Rabbitohs as first grade coach for the next five seasons. 
Denis represented New South Wales on ten occasions between 1950-1954. Donoghue was selected to represent Sydney against France during their 1951 tour of Australasia in a match that ended in a 19-all draw. He debuted for Australia in 1951 against the touring French side, and was selected for the Kangaroo Tour in 1952. He broke his leg on the first trial and missed all six Test matches. He stood down from Test representative duties following it.  He is listed on the Australian Players Register as Kangaroo No. 283.