The Sharks have released Matt Prior from the final year of his contract.
The joint Monty Porter Medallist as the Sharks best during their premiership-winning season of 2016, Prior has taken up a long-term deal in the English Super League.
In a career which began at the Dragons, where he made his NRL debut in 2008, Prior has been a member of two title-winning sides, played Origin football for NSW in 2018 and has amassed 134 NRL games at the Sharks since joining the club in 2014.
In all Prior played 255 games in the NRL across the two clubs.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at the Sharks,” Prior said. “I want thank all my teammates, coaches and staff, as well as the Club, the members and the fans for their support in my six years at Cronulla.
“While sad to be leaving the Sharks, I’m really looking forward to joining Leeds and to playing some good footy for them from next season in the Super League.”
A hard-worker and positive influence off the field, known for his high work rate and uncompromising defence on it, Sharks Coach John Morris was disappointed to see Prior go but wished him well in his future endeavours.
“We didn’t really want to lose a player of Matt’s ability, character and experience, but with the restraints we are operating under due to our salary cap fine, we’ve had to let players go who we would have otherwise liked to keep,” Morris said. “Unfortunately, Matt is one of those players.
“He will be remembered for playing a huge role in the Sharks first premiership, has been an outstanding representative of this Club, turned into a State of Origin player and was someone who led from the front. He set the tone for us with his intent and aggression, especially in defence.
“He gave the Sharks great service and will be sorely missed. We wish him, as well as his partner Bec and daughter Indie, all the best.”
Prior is likely to remain in Australia prior to Christmas before heading to the UK early in the New Year to prepare for the upcoming Super League season.