The Sharks have agreed to release forward Ava Seumanufagai to UK SuperLeague club the Leeds Rhinos, effective immediately.
Seumanufagai joined the Sharks ahead of the 2018 season and last year played 13 games for the Cronulla club.
Injured in the trials earlier this year, Seumanufagai had returned to the field two weeks ago when he played for the Sharks Canterbury Cup partner club the Newtown Jets.
In a career which began in 2013 when he debuted for the Wests Tigers against the Parramatta Eels, the 27-year-old Seumanufagai has since played 118 games in the NRL.
He is set to leave for the UK in the coming days and is expected to be considered for the Rhino's top squad as soon as he arrives.
Commenting on the signing, Director of Leeds Rugby Kevin Sinfield said, “We are delighted to get the deal finally done to sign Ava. He is a player we have been monitoring for a while and it is good that we have secured him until the end of the 2021 season.
"Ava is a big player with a great work ethic. I would like to thank Cronulla Sharks for their help in getting the deal agreed and we look forward to welcoming Ava into our group once all the necessary paperwork has been completed.”
Seumanufagai, who's departure from the Sharks related to their salary cap deductions for the 2019 and 2020 season's, said he is looking forward to his new life in the Super League competition.
“I am really excited to be joining the Rhinos,” he said. “I have been speaking to Kevin Sinfield and I know a few blokes who have been over at Leeds and they have loved it at the club, so I am really looking forward to coming over.”
All at the Sharks thank him for his efforts over the past two seasons at the Cronulla Club and wish him well in his future endeavours.