3 January 1991 |
Mackay, Queensland, Australia
|Height||182 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||92 kg (14 st 7 lb)|
|Position||Centre, Fullback, Wing|
As of 27 October 2017
Dane Gagai (born 3 January 1991) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the National Rugby League. He plays at centre, fullback and wing. He previously played for the Brisbane Broncos and Newcastle Knights.
Born in Mackay, Queensland, Gagai is of Torres Strait Islander and Ngāti Pikiao descent. Gagai's father Ray was a member of the Brisbane Broncos' squad in the 1989 NSWRL season. Gagai is also the cousin of Parramatta Eels player Josh Hoffman, former Broncos player Wendell Sailor and current Broncos player Travis Waddell.
Gagai played his junior football for Brisbane Wests before being signed by the Brisbane Broncos.
From 2009 to 2011, Gagai played for the Brisbane Broncos' NYC team, scoring 39 tries in 61 games. At the end of 2010, Gagai was named at fullback in the 2010 NYC Team of the Year and played for the Junior Kangaroos against the Junior Kiwis.
In Round 1 of the 2011 NRL season, Gagai made his NRL debut for the Brisbane Broncos against the North Queensland Cowboys on the wing, scoring a try in the Broncos 16-14 loss at Suncorp Stadium. Gagai finished his debut year in the NRL with him playing in 7 matches and scored 4 tries for the Brisbane Broncos in the 2011 NRL season. On 30 August 2011, Gagai was named at wing in the 2011 NYC Team of the Year.
On 19 March 2012, Gagai re-signed with the Broncos on a 2-year contract. On 9 May 2012, Gagai was released from his Broncos contract less than 2 months after re-signing due to disciplinary reasons. On 28 May 2012, Gagai signed a 2-year contract with the Newcastle Knights effective immediately. In Round 14 of the 2012 NRL season, Gagai made his club debut for the Newcastle Knights against the Canberra Raiders at centre, scoring a try in the Knights 32-16 loss at Hunter Stadium. Gagai finished his first year in the Newcastle Knights with him playing in 12 matches and scoring 5 tries in the 2012 NRL season.
On 22 May 2013, Gagai re-signed with the Knights on a 2-year contract. Gagai finished the 2013 NRL season with him playing in 23 matches and scoring 5 tries for the Knights. In August 2013, Gagai rejected playing for New Zealand to represent his mother in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup instead setting his sights to play for Queensland in State of Origin.
On 28 January 2014, Gagai was banned from the Queensland Origin camp by Mal Meninga after a discipline breach. In February 2014, Gagai was selected in the Knights inaugural 2014 Auckland Nines squad. In June 2014, Gagai was included in the Queensland Maroons extended 22 man squad but was later not chosen to make his debut for Queensland. Gagai finished 2014 NRL season with him playing in all off the Knights 24 matches, scoring 7 tries and kicking a goal.
On 31 January and 1 February, Gagai played for the Knights in the 2015 NRL Auckland Nines. On 13 February, he played for the Indigenous All Stars against the NRL All Stars in the annual All Stars match, playing off the interchange bench for the at Cbus Super Stadium. The Indigenous side won 20-6 over the NRL All Stars. On 10 April, he re-signed with the Knights on a 2-year contract after strong interest from his former club Brisbane Broncos. On 8 July, he made his State of Origin debut on the wing for Queensland against New South Wales in Game 3 of the 2015 State of Origin series. He scored a try on debut, which was the first try of the game, in Queensland's 52-6 win. He finished the 2015 season having played in all of the Knights 24 matches, scoring 7 tries and kicking 2 goals as the club finished last. On 26 September, he played for the Prime Minister's XIII against Papua New Guinea, playing at centre in his team's 40-12 win in Port Moresby. On 15 December, he was named on the wing for the Indigenous All Stars to play against the World All Stars on 13 February 2016.
On 13 February, Gagai again played for the Indigenous All Stars against the new World All Stars, playing on the wing and scoring a try in his team's 8-12 loss at Suncorp Stadium. In Round 10 against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Gagai played his 100th NRL career game in the Knights' 0-62 loss at Hunter Stadium. After the match, he was seen on camera crying and being embraced by teammate Tariq Sims. Fox Sports commentators Andrew Voss, Jimmy Smith and Mark Gasnier commented on the incident, "Right there at the finish, I don't think I've ever seen the likes of that in all my time following rugby league", said Voss. "Dane Gagai just couldn't contain himself, this is a Round 10 game, have you ever witnessed that in your life?", "They were incredible pictures", said Smith. "That is a reaction you just don't see, he was shattered", said Gasnier. After the incident, Gagai was exposed to racial abuse from a crowd member. It was later revealed that Gagai was upset due to the death of his grandmother earlier that day. He played in all 3 matches for Queensland on the wing in the 2016 State of Origin series, where he scored 1 try in Game 1 in Queensland's 6-4 win at ANZ Stadium and a hat-trick of tries in Game 2 in their 26-16 win at Suncorp Stadium. He finished the season having played in 22 matches and scoring 3 tries.
On 22 May, Gagai announced he would be leaving the Knights at the end of the 2017 season. It was also announced that he would play on the wing in Game 1 of the 2017 State of Origin series for Queensland.  In June, it was announced he signed a 4-year contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs starting in 2018.
On 12 July, Gagai won the Wally Lewis Medal as the player of the 2017 State of Origin series. Gagai, who played on the wing for Queensland in all 3 games and ran for over 500 metres for the series, became the first winger to win the official Player of the series.
He finished his Knights stint with 128 games, 29 tries and 3 goals.
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- "Newcastle Knights Re-Sign Centre Dane Gagai, Young Forward Robbie Rochow and Veteran David Faalogo". Foxsports.com.au. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
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- Chris Garry (13 February 2016). "World All Stars defeat Indigenous All Stars 12-8 at Suncorp Stadium". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
- "Dane Gagai bursts into tears following Newcastle Knights loss to Cronulla Sharks". News.com.au. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
- Chris Paine. "Knights Star Dane Gagai Breaks Down In Tears After Shattering Loss". Huffingtonpost.com.au. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
- Paul Crawley. "Newcastle Knights Investigate Allegations Dane Gagai was Racially Abused by fan at Hunter Stadium". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
- "Dane Gagai takes a stand after tragedy impacts his hometown of Mackay". Couriermail.com.au. 2016-06-01. Retrieved 2016-09-05.
- "State of Origin 1: Maroons edge Blues 6-4 to clinch series opener". Couriermail.com.au. 2016-06-01. Retrieved 2016-09-05.
- "State of Origin 2016: Dane Gagai's hat-trick draws comparisons with Greg Inglis". Couriermail.com.au. 2016-06-22. Retrieved 2016-09-05.
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- "Gagai tells Knights he will depart club at season's end | League". Sporting News. 2017-05-22. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
- NRL Digital Media. "Sign Dane Gagai Until At Least The End Of The 2021 Season". Rabbitohs. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
- "State of Origin 2017: Dane Gagai wins Wally Lewis Medal as player of the series". Couriermail.com.au. 2017-07-12. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
- Ferguson, Shawn Dollin and Andrew. "Custom Match List - Rugby League Project". www.rugbyleagueproject.org. Retrieved 11 September 2017.