In what the club is planning to be the first of a series of re-signing and player retention announcements, young back rower Jack Williams has signed a new two-year contract with the Sharks.
The 21-year-old Williams, who made his NRL debut for the Sharks in their round 11 match against the Raiders, put pen to paper today on a deal that will see him remain at the club through until at least the end of the 2020 season.
With the promise shown in four appearances in 2018, Williams' signing is a significant boost for the Sharks who will look to usher through a new crop of talented young players over the next few seasons.
Sharks Coach Shane Flanagan was pleased to have secured the services of Williams for a further two years.
"Unfortunately, Jack has a season ending injury but the few games he had in the top grade confirmed our belief that Jack is NRL player of the future," Flanagan said.
"The game time he had this year will only make him stronger and train harder in the off season ready for a big 2019. I am excited about the future for Jack in a Sharks jumper." Flanagan added.
After earning a regular spot in the Sharks NRL squad, as explained by Flanagan, Williams tore a pectoral muscle in the Sharks game against the Broncos and after undergoing surgery, will miss the rest of the 2018 season.
Despite the setback, Williams was thrilled to have completed his negotiations, to have inked his new deal and committed his next two seasons to the Sharks.
"It's something I've been looking forward to for a bit now. Making my debut this year, I had a goal that I wanted to re-sign at the end of the season," Williams said.
"I'm glad I've got this done and it makes it a bit sweeter after having this injury."
Williams explained he will be in a sling for six weeks, then has plans on getting back into the gym and getting himself ready to go again in 2019.
"Now that I've had my taste, I want to play as many games as I can and I'm looking forward to next year."
After joining the Cronulla club in 2017, Williams played out the season with the Newtown Jets, however after an impressive pre-season put himself in the frame for promotion to the NRL team, culminating in his debut match against his junior club the Raiders.
Since that first outing in the top grade, Williams went on to play three more times in the NRL, before suffering the season-ending injury.
The Sharks hope to back up the Williams announcement with further player retention news in the coming days.
Born – 28-9-1996 – Pambula, NSW
Junior Club – Cooma Colts
Position – Lock/second row
Height – 184cm
Weight – 100kgs
NRL Debut – Sharks v Raiders, GIO Stadium, May 13, 2018 (Round 10)