Popular back rower Jayson Bukuya will return to the Sharks in 2015 after signing a new two-year contract.
Bukuya left the Cronulla club to play for the New Zealand Warriors, however he was released from the final year of that contract on compassionate grounds to return to Sydney and subsequently took up offer to return to the Sharks.
The returning Shark and budding poet offered a unique quote in relation to his homecoming.
“Footy is like love. If you love someone, let them go and if they come back, it’s meant to be,” Bukuya said.
And on a more serious note, he added.
“I’m happy to be wearing the sky blue, black and white again and I'm looking forward to it. We'll definitely be a competitive team this year.”
A skilful edge runner when previously at the Sharks, Bukuya will add plenty of attacking potency to the Cronulla forward pack over the next two years, with Coach Shane Flanagan more than pleased to have him back on deck.
“I am excited to have Jayson back at the club. He has many friends at the Sharks and the playing group are pleased to see him back,” Flanagan said. “Jayson’s last season with us was outstanding, which attracted interest from other clubs and I know Jason can get back to that sort of form and add some strike on our edge.
“He returns at such important time in the clubs history and I am sure Sharks fans are also pleased to see him back at Remondis,” Flanagan added.
Bukuya played 59 NRL games for the Sharks over a period of six seasons, before leaving to join the Warriors where he played 17 top grade games in 2014.
He has also represented Fiji on nine occasions, most recently as a member of their 2013 World Cup side.
Still just 25 years of age, Bukuya debuted as a 19-year-old back in 2008, before enduring a frustrating run with injury. Once fit and able to get some consistent football under his belt, Bukuya developed into a valuable member of the Sharks, then Warriors, forward pack.
Bukuya’s return means the Sharks now have excellent depth in a number of positions, including the back row, with Bukuya to compete with the likes of Wade Graham, Luke Lewis, Anthony Tupou, Chris Heighington and Junior Roqica for a place in the Sharks side.
Also adding to the Sharks depth of talent is the signing of highly-rated young Brisbane half back Todd Murphy.
The 24-year-old Murphy arrives via Queensland Cup team the Norths Devils where he was recently adjudged the runner up for the Courier-Mail Medal, an award presented to the Intrust Super Cup’s best and fairest player in the Queensland Cup competition.
With voting conducted by the Queensland Cup referees on a 3-2-1 basis, Murphy finished on 26 points, just three behind the eventual winner.
Murphy, who has signed on for one season, joined the Sharks full time training squad this week and was excited about the chance presented to him.
“It’s a great opportunity for me, a chance to play in the NRL is what you work towards,” Murphy said of his move to the Sharks. “I’ll do my best and see how it goes.”
The Sharks hope to finalise their 2015 playing roster in the coming weeks with further signing news expected.