Not often a player of Origin and International stature becomes available mid-season, however the Sharks were the big winners when Aaron Woods was pushed out of the Bulldogs and made the move to the Shire halfway through 2018.
Joining the Sharks prior to the June 30 deadline, Woods was rushed into the Cronulla forward pack for their round 16 match against the Warriors and the NSW and Australian rep didn't disappoint.
Carries the ball with confidence and is a reliable defender, Woods also has a big engine, allowing coach Shane Flanagan to play him big minutes when needed, an asset which came in particularly handy when injuries struck other key forwards.
Arriving at his new club as a player on the outer with representative selectors, Woods would return to the form which saw him regularly turn out for state and country, with his naming in the Kangaroos squad for their two-test end of season tour to New Zealand, evidence of his abilities.
Played all 12 games for which he was available at the Sharks during the second half of the season, with his 143 metres gained per game behind only fullback Valentine Holmes and ahead of all other Cronulla forwards, while his average of 28 tackles each match was also in the top three of that statistical category.
Used off the bench in 2018, the question will be where Woods fits into the Sharks game plan next year, although wherever it is he is sure to offer the go-forward and impetus the team needs.
Photo of the Year
Woodsy scoring his first try in the black, white and blue in front of a packed Family Hill on a Sunday afternoon.
2019 – What's next
Aaron Woods returned to the form that had rated amongst the best front rowers in the game, despite a tumultuous season where he was forced to make a mid-year switch. With a summer under Sharks training and coaching staff, Woods might just take his game to another level in 2019.