2011 was a big year for Dene. As well as playing 19 games in his most consistent season since joining the Club, he was nominated for the Ken Stephen Medal on account of his work for community partners RSPCA and Camp Quality, amongst others.
New Zealand international Dene Halatau endured a frustrating run of injuries in his first year with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in 2010, having joined the Club after a seven year, Premiership winning stint with the Wests Tigers.
Favourite team growing up? Tigers
Favourite holiday destination? Greek Islands
Favourite food? My wife’s chicken, leek, mushroom and philly cheese pastry rolls
Player you most admire? Steve Menzies
Favourite sportsman (outside rugby league)? Michael Jordan
Funniest team-mate? Corey Payne
Messiest team-mate? Corey Payne
Favourite TV show? The Walking Dead and The Simpsons
Biggest influence on your career? Family
Charity you support? RSPCA, The Violet Foundation, Camp Quality, Project Futures, JAF
In all, the versatile back rower played eight NRL matches for the Bulldogs, adding to the 128 games he played for the Tigers stretching back to his debut against Manly in round 13 of the 2003 season.
After missing the opening two rounds of 2010 through injury, Halatau made his Club debut off the interchange bench in the round three win over the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium.
However, injury struck again almost immediately, seeing him unavailable for the next five rounds of the competition.
He eventually made his comeback in round 10 against the Dragons, again from the interchange bench, before being elevated to the starting side for the following week’s Monday night encounter against the Penrith Panthers at CUA Stadium.
His next NRL appearance came in round 17 against Cronulla before finishing off the season playing four of the Bulldogs last seven matches before injury intervened again.
After undergoing off-season knee surgery to correct a medial ligament problem, Halatau is back in training and is eyeing off a more consistent year in 2011 – including a return to the New Zealand national side, which he’s represented in 15 Test matches since his debut back in 2005.
Away from football, Dene and his wife Rochelle have a two year old daughter, Tayla.