He started out as an Australian schoolboy representative on the 1972-1973 tour of England and was from Maitland, New South Wales. He played most of his first grade career under the astute coaching of Harry Bath. After his first grade career was over, he moved to Newcastle in 1981 and represented Country Firsts that year, before moving onto coaching with Newcastle Knights in the lower grades and an administrative career with Super League and Canberra Raiders.
In later years, he became to referees coordinator with the NRL. Robert Finch is the father of the former NRL and representative player, Brett Finch.