Kiwi-born prop Braden Hamlin-Uele, one of the big improvers at the Sharks through the opening 14 rounds of the 2019 season, has today signed a new three-year contract with the Cronulla club.
After his impressive start to the current season Hamlin-Uele attracted interest from a number of other NRL teams but chose to commit his future to the Sharks, with his new deal set to see him remain at the Club through until the end of the 2022 season.
His signing continues the club’s endeavours to shore up their exciting young talent, with Hamlin-Uele joining Jack Williams, Blayke Brailey and earlier in the year Bronson Xerri, to have recently extended their contracts with the Sharks.
The 24-yeaer-old Hamlin-Uele, who was again amongst the Sharks best in their narrow loss to the Raiders last night, was pleased to be remaining in the Shire for another three seasons at least.
“I’m loving it here and Bomber (John Morris) has brought the best out in me and now I get to showcase my talents for another three years. I think I belong here,” Hamlin-Uele said.
After beginning the year playing for the Sharks NSWRL partner club the Newtown Jets, Hamlin-Uele came into the NRL side in round five against the Sydney Roosters and made an immediate impression in the top grade.
Adding impact from the interchange bench, Hamlin-Uele’s hard running and aggressive style has been a feature, emphasised by his potential game changing charge and second half try in the game in Canberra last night.
Hamlin-Uele has now played nine games for the Sharks in the NRL this season after running out for just one in 2018.
Coach John Morris was pleased to confirm the contract extension for Hamlin-Uele and sees plenty of continued improvement and upside in the 115kg prop in the seasons ahead.
“It’s a massive signing for us,” Morris said. “Everyone has seen what Braden has brought to our team this year. I’m so happy for him.
“This time last year I wouldn’t have thought that Braden would be signing a three-year contract with the club. We’ve worked really hard with him to get him up to the level he is now and it’s a credit to himself.”
New Zealand born but of Samoan heritage, such is his recent form, Hamlin-Uele will be in line for consideration for the Samoan team for their Pacific Test match against PNG next weekend.
Braden Hamlin Uele – Fact File
Born – January 9, 1995 – Auckland NZ
Junior Club – Glenora Bears
Height – 191cm
Weight – 115kgs
Rep Honours – Junior Kiwis (2014-15)
NRL debut – Cowboys v Roosters, SFS, Round 21, 2017
Sharks debut – Sharks v Raiders, Round 10, 2018
NRL games – 11
Tries - 3