A journey that began as a 19-year-old way back in 2008, before reaching a peak with a Grand Final victory in 2016, is far from over for Sharks star Jayson Bukuya who is preparing for his 12th season in the NRL.
A remarkably consistent performer, always offering energy and impact off the bench, Bukuya has long been integral to the Sharks success.
After hitting the big time in 2008 a series of injuries derailed his progress, but his ability was never in question, with Bukuya’s perseverance rewarded with an NRL career that can now boast a premiership ring, 170 games in the top grade and 10 Test matches for his native Fiji.
A glut of backrowers saw Bukuya leave the Sharks for the Warriors in 2014, but it didn’t take him long to return, shifting back to the Shire in 2015 before experiencing the highs of 2016 as his worth was recognised and his place in the Cronulla side confirmed.
Long been used as a bench utility, with the retirement of Luke Lewis and the injury to Wade Graham, Bukuya could be shifted into the backrow and onto an edge, or retained as the middle forward interchange as in previous years, with all to be revealed during the trials and early rounds.
Coming back from off-season shoulder surgery, Bukuya is likely to sit out the opening trial before hopefully taking to the field in the team’s second preseason match and final hit out ahead of their round clash with the Knights.
The Sharks went ‘under the surface’ with Jayson Bukuya in asking a range of questions as we continue our series in getting to know your 2019 Sharks NRL squad.
Born: April 21, 1989, Brisbane
Junior Club: North Aspley Devils
Position: Second row/lock
NRL Debut: Sharks v Bulldogs, ANZ Stadium, Round 11, 2008
NRL games played: 170
Sharks NRL games: 152