Cook grateful to NRL rival for coffee runs

·2-min read

Not all NRL players would deliver coffees to a rival in the lead-up to the finals series, but not all NRL players are as close as Damien Cook and Dale Finucane.

Cook missed South Sydney's last two games of the regular season after going down with COVID-19 in round 24.

The hooker has since been released from isolation and will play against the Sydney Roosters in Sunday's elimination final, along with captain Cam Murray and Campbell Graham, who have shaken off concussion symptoms and resumed contact training.

Cook's South Sydney teammates were quick to check on him during his isolation period, but Finucane - co-captain of one of the Rabbitohs' premiership rivals Cronulla - was just as keen to help.

Finucane and Cook go way back to their days playing against one another as schoolboys.

The pair were housemates once they made the big-time at Canterbury and have since played for NSW together on five occasions.

Battling a rib injury of his own, Finucane eagerly assumed the role of delivery man when he heard his mate had gone down sick.

"Dale is a really good family friend and he dropped off a few coffees here and there," Cook told AAP.

"I doubt we'd do that for each other if we were playing each other this weekend.

"(But) I've known him for a long time now. We're really close mates."

Cook and his partner Courtney found themselves in the unusual situation of bringing new-born Jagger home from the hospital on the same day the Rabbitohs veteran contracted COVID-19.

With a virus to fend off and a baby to look after, the Cook household looked forward to each of Finucane's coffee runs.

"They were much needed," Cook said.

"(Jagger) kept us entertained and busy.

"Obviously we were looking forward to introducing the little fella to everyone.

"But it was nice to have that week to ourselves and just spend some time with the family."

Cook watched the round-25 loss to the Roosters from home, but after getting through a big training session on Thursday he's ready for the sudden-death rematch.

"It was good to get that intensity back in the lungs and the legs," he said.

Murray's inclusion looms as a major boost for the Rabbitohs, who struggled through the middle when he left the field concussed on the second tackle of last week's game.

"(Murray) said he felt good out there with no symptoms," Cook said after training on Thursday.

"It was a really intense session so it was good to see him get through that."