Cameron McInnes, a member of the NSW Blues extended squad in 2020 and a highly respected performer for the Dragons and Rabbitohs throughout a seven-year NRL career, has signed on at the Sharks for the 2022 season.
Recruited by the Sharks to play the lock position, McInnes has signed a four-year deal with the Cronulla club.
The St George Illawarra captain in 2020, McInnes will play out the upcoming 2021 season with the Dragons.
The Sharks recruitment committee identified him as a quality player who would be an asset to the club and the NRL team, with General Manager of Football Darren Mooney excited to have secured McInnes’s signature.
“Cameron was a member of Brad Fittler’s Origin squad last year, he has exceptional competitive instincts, is an outstanding leader and we believe he will be a great acquisition for our club,” Mooney said.
Sharks coach John Morris was also thrilled the club will have the services of such a well-respected player from the 2022 season onwards.
“Cameron ticks all the boxes for us in that he has great attitude, he competes on every play and is an excellent defender. But not only is he respected for what he can do on the field, he is of outstanding character, is a thorough professional who looks after himself and we are adding someone to our squad who is a leader and will be a major asset to our young developing players,” Morris said.
As for the role the Sharks envisage for McInnes, Morris was excited about the options he would provide.
“He can play lock equally as well as he can play dummy half and that versatility, especially in the modern game, is very attractive to our club. Cameron has been brought mainly to play lock and will complement Blayke Brailey at hooker in a potent 9 and 13 combination that should have all Sharks fans very excited.
“He’s a winner and we are very pleased he has agreed to join us in 2022.”
A junior at the Botany Rams, McInnes made his NRL debut at the Rabbitohs in 2014 in a match against his current club the Dragons.
McInnes, who turned 27 just yesterday, has gone on to play 130 NRL games, 91 for the Dragons where he took over the captaincy in 2020 when Gareth Widdop moved to the UK.
He also played for NSW City against Country in 2017 and in emphasising his outstanding character on and off the field, McInnes has won back-to-back Dragons Medals as Player of the Year at St George Illawarra and in the space of his first three seasons at the club also claimed the Immortals Trophy, Red V Members Player of the Year and Geoff Selby Memorial Trophy.