Sharks prop Braden Hamlin-Uele.

Cronulla bench forward Braden Hamlin-Uele has now played five straight NRL games and had a major impact in two injury-hit wins.

That's impressive for a man who wasn't expecting to play a single match in 2019.

He was biding his time in Canterbury Cup for the Newtown Jets having played just one NRL game in both 2017 (when at North Queensland) and 2018 for Cronulla.

The long-term absences of Aaron Woods (foot) and Wade Graham (knee) plus the departure of Ava Seumanufagai to England have resulted in the Sharks having an increased reliance on the likes of Hamlin-Uele and Jack Williams.

Both Hamlin-Uele and Williams played an even bigger role in the Magic Round win over the Titans when starting props Andrew Fifita (hamstring) and Matt Prior (neck) were rubbed out for the game inside the opening 20 minutes.

"I didn't even think I'd be [playing first grade] in 2019, I was happy biding my time in Newtown and just seeing what the year brings me but to play five games in a row, it's a blessing really and I'm so honoured to be doing it," Hamlin-Uele said.

Formerly known as Braden Uele, the 115-kilogram 24-year-old added Hamlin to his surname in honour of his maternal grandfather, who passed away in 2018 without someone to carry on the family name.

He produced what at that time was the best game of his career in the round eight win over Melbourne, nabbing his maiden NRL try.

He then topped that against the Titans. After being called on in just the seventh minute and having to play a massive 56-minute spell, he racked up seven tackle busts, 123 running metres, two offloads and 25 tackles.

It may have helped that he didn't have any time to think about it before running on and throwing himself in the action.

"I was just sitting there and all I hear is 'Brayden, Brayden' and I thought 'I'm getting on here'," he laughed.

"I didn't realise I was going to stay on for so long but the more minutes I play the better."

The increased minutes is something Hamlin-Uele wants more of and it has only been made possible by a new attitude throughout the 2018-19 off-season.

"I'm proud of what I did, I'm just hoping it was 50 quality [minutes]," he said.

"There's no point playing long minutes if you're not doing anything, hopefully, it was 50 minutes that John Morris and the boys are happy with.

"[This year's improvement] is definitely what I've been doing off the field. Last year I was sort of like 'why aren't I playing' but I never looked at myself and took my off-field stuff seriously.

"For some reason when I came back from pre-season this year it was just, 'I'm going to do whatever I can off the field to change that'.

"Diet, prepping well and that's making sure I put my best foot forward so Bomber [Morris] can have something to look at and think 'he should be here'."