While the Premiership victory and his Sharks Player of the Year accolade in 2016 was amongst his career highlights, Matt Prior was recognised at a higher level with his first Origin selection in 2018 when named in the NSW team for game two of the series last year.
Adding to that honour, Prior would play in the PM's XIII against the Kumuls at seasons end in further acknowledgement of his talents and his consistent performances.
Tough and resilient, he played all 27 of the Sharks matches during 2018 and when added to his Origin appearance and his post-season outing in Port Moresby, Prior had certainly earned his end of year break.
On the field nothing changed, with his defence a standout feature of his game and while perhaps not a noted weapon with ball in hand, Prior never shirked his duties in attack and was an off-load threat whenever carrying the football.
In 2018 Prior achieved the milestone of 100 Sharks games and was something of the spiritual leader of the Cronulla pack, the player aiming to provide a lift with the jolting tackle or big hit when the situation demanded and he will be looked up to provide more of the same in 2019.
Now a 228-game veteran of the NRL, Prior will again be an integral part of the Sharks forward pack next season.
Photo of the Year
A recognition of his talents and consistency, Prior's first Blues jersey would come in 2018.
2019 - What's ahead
Entering his 12th season in the NRL, not too much is likely to change with Matt Prior's role at the Sharks in 2019, however with the possibility of Paul Gallen playing less minutes, perhaps look for his time on the field to increase and potentially in the skipper's lock-forward position.