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Young Shark Katoa signs on

He has already made an impression in the top grade, with his evasive skills, athleticism and finishing ability, and now Sharks fans are set to enjoy more Sione Katoa highlights over the next two years after the Sharks young gun signed a contract-extension.

The new deal, which was signed off yesterday, sees Katoa now tied to the Sharks until at least the end of the 2020 season.

A quietly spoken player who would definitely prefer to let his actions to his talking, Katoa was pleased to have his football future secured for a further two years.

"I'm enjoying playing in the Sharks NRL side with so many experienced players and I'm grateful for the opportunity I'm being given," Katoa said. "I just want to go out, do my job and not let the boys down. Hopefully that's been happening and I can keep doing that.

"I'm excited about the rest of this year and looking forward to the next two seasons as well."

Of Tongan heritage, Katoa was a Bulldogs junior from the Chester Hill Hornets who moved to Parramatta during his junior representative career, before joining the Sharks NYC squad in 2016.

In those two years Katoa scored 44 tries in 49 matches for the Cronulla Holden Cup side, with his tackle-busting running style and spectacular finishing resulting in him being named in the 2017 NYC Team of the Year.

After two seasons in the under-20's Katoa was elevated into the Sharks fulltime NRL group and was a standout during the summer training sessions, so much so that coach Shane Flanagan couldn't deny his claims to an NRL berth in round one of the 2018 season.

"It's important that we retain the talented young players we have at the club and we are very pleased to have Sione around for at least two more years," Flanagan said.

"He was a part of a very good NYC team last year, was the leading try-scorer in that competition and made the Holden Cup team of the year and while it's only early days he gives every indication that he will develop into a quality first grade player and enjoy a long and successful career."

A broken jaw in his debut match in Townsville back in March stalled his progress somewhat, however after a couple of match-winning performances on return in the Intrust Super Premiership with the Newtown Jets and again Katoa had again forced Flanagan's hand, with his form and ability virtually demanding an NRL recall.

Katoa has now played six games in the NRL, with his second try coming in the win over the Panthers last Friday night.

And capping off what has been a huge week for the 20-year-old, Katoa and his wife Cholayna welcomed their first child, a girl Keziah, into the world just last Saturday.

Katoa joins young backrower Jack Williams as a recent re-signing and with his NRL journey just beginning, Sharks fans are set to enjoy an exciting ride over the coming years.

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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