Former NSW Origin halfback Trent Hodkinson today signed a new one-year contract to play with the Sharks in 2018.

Hodkinson, who played six games for NSW in 2014-2015, was released from his contract with the Newcastle Knights, opening the way for Sharks coach Shane Flanagan to make a quality addition to his current NRL squad.

“The opportunity to sign Trent materialised when it became obvious he was going to negotiate a release and his addition to our squad will add to our depth and experience in the halves,” Flanagan said.

“He’s fully aware he’s coming here as a back-up, but these days you need a real competitive 30-man squad with four halves but no only that, he fits our club in that he is a quality person off the field, someone who can enhance our community programs, while his leadership and experience will help with the development of our young halves Kyle (Flanagan) and Jack Williams.”

“Plus Origin is sure to cause some challenges with (Val) Holmes, (Wade) Graham, (Andrew) Fifita. (Josh) Dugan and (Matt) Moylan all possibly missing, with our depth and experience crucial during that period of the season,” Flanagan added.

Debuting for Manly back in 2010, Hodkinson switched to the Bulldogs in 2011 before moving to the Knights in 2016, where he played 40 games over two seasons despite battling injury problems.

“Trent has had some recent injury issues, but I believe we have the best high-performance staff in the NRL and we will work hard on getting his body right and getting him on the field,” Flanagan said.

An accomplished goal-kicker, in 156 NRL games Hodkinson has kicked 272 goals, while also crossing for 18 tries. After signing his new contract Hodkinson explained he was happy to be making the move to the Sutherland Shire and was looking forward to renewing acquaintances with a few of his former Origin teammates in Luke Lewis, Paul Gallen and Josh Dugan.

“They’ve told me it’s a great place to live and a great club to play for,” Hodkinson said. “Those guys helped me along with my final decision.

“I’m happy to be here, to be making a fresh start and I’m ready to get stuck into it. Whatever Flano and the coaching staff need me to do, I’m happy to do it.”

Hodkinson is expected at Sharks training in the coming days, with the first trial game of 2018 less than two weeks away.