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Sean O’Sullivan has covered plenty of distance in his quest to chase his rugby league dreams, but it is with the Dolphins that he is hoping to plant his feet.

After making his NRL debut in 2018 with the Sydney Roosters where he played one game, O’Sullivan got more of a taste of the NRL with the Brisbane Broncos, playing eight games.

A move to the Warriors came next, where he featured in 12 games in 2021.

However, he caught the eye of even more rugby league fans with his stellar performances filling in for Nathan Cleary in the champion Panthers side this past season, recording eight wins in his 11 appearances.

He was also part of the club's NSW Cup side which took out the premiership. 

Off the back of a big year, the desire to cement a spot as starting halfback was one of the biggest factors drawing O’Sullivan to sign up with the Dolphins and be part of their inaugural season next year.

Sean O'Sullivan with Nathan Cleary at the Penrith Panthers.
Sean O'Sullivan with Nathan Cleary at the Penrith Panthers. ©NRL Images

Other major attractions for the New South Wales-born O’Sullivan to move back up to Queensland included being coached by Wayne Bennett and to help write some history as a member of the new NRL side.

“I'd be lying if I said it was one reason; one was being able to be coached by Wayne Bennett – it is something that you can only dream of as a kid, and I'm super excited for that,” O’Sullivan said.

“And two, it was a personal challenge. Hopefully I can lock down a starting position here and put my best foot forward. And that's something I'm really striving for.

“I think I would personally love to just play NRL week-in, week-out. I haven't done that yet.

“I think the last two years I've played the most of my NRL games, so I'm really looking forward to trying to learn as much as I can from Wayne, Woolfy (Kristian Woolf) and Fieny (Nathan Fien) and try and nail that job and really nail my role in the team. 

“And third, to be part of history; your name’s going to be there for history forever and that's something that I know myself and (so does) every single person that’s signed with the Dolphins.

“We’re all so excited and we're all eager to buy into the new culture that we're going to build here and set for years ahead.

“Talking about it just gets me really excited, it's pretty cool."

Enjoying the tough pre-season as much as any player can enjoy sweating it out in the hot sun, working “on speed, agility, and con and con games”, O’Sullivan has also soaked up the opportunity to get to know the players in the club’s inaugural squad and was looking forward to seeing them make their mark in their new colours.

Bennett’s long game sets up Gilbert as a Dolphin

“Tommy Gilbert's worked really, really hard and he's someone that's trying to drive this culture and someone like Edrick Lee, you know, I didn't know that he was such a vibrant person,” O’Sullivan said.

“He brings a lot of energy and that's what you need in a footy club. It's amazing having these two here and they're good people first and foremost and they'll help not only myself, but all the younger boys and they'll bring them through.

“It's really cool to have them part of the Dolphins.”

Acknowledgement of Country

The Dolphins respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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