“I like Dale’s experience, plus I like what Payne has done off the bench,” Fittler said.
Finucane is a premiership winner who can lift standards at a club, with the Tigers and former club Canterbury making it know they are interested in his services. Even the Dragons have rejoined the race after sacking Paul Vaughan this week.
Finucane is resigned to leaving Melbourne and hopes he can land a deal of up to four years worth more than $700,000 a season. He is flattered clubs are as interested in what he can provide off the field as what he can do on it.
“If you look at the culture we have at the Melbourne Storm and what [coach] Craig Bellamy has instilled in all the players … myself and Jesse Bromwich are co-captains at the club, and since Cameron [Smith] has left, a lot of onus is on us to drive the standards,” Finucane said.
“It’s a responsibility we welcome. It’s a responsibility I welcome.
“It’s nice to hear there’s interest coming my way. Hopefully in the next week my manager and I will sit down with everything presented in front of us, then we’ll make the decision the following week.
“The focus right now is on the Origin preparation. I’ll enjoy this week, then we’ll make a call. If we have to relocate, I want to give my family as much time as I can.
“I’d like a long-term deal, not only for the security but the fact I still believe I’ve got plenty of good football ahead of me. I’m still passionate about playing and the body feels great.”
Finucane would not expand on which clubs he had spoken to.
“While you think about the success of a club at the moment, and it gets factored into your decision making, you also know it only takes a handful of signings at a club for them to be successful,” Finucane said.
The Storm forward, who missed the first six rounds of this year with injury, was never going to pass on Fittler’s invite to be around the extended NSW squad for game two, nor 18th man for game three before Daniel Saifiti’s injury paved the way for him to be elevated to the starting 17.
Sports news, results and expert commentary. Sign up to our Sport newsletter.