On the eve of today's game against the Newcastle Knights, powerfully built back rower Siosifa Talakai has signed a new two-year contract extention that will see him remain a Shark until at least the end of the 2023 season.
With his hard charges with ball in hand and bruising defence making him a favourite amongst both teammates and fans, the re-siging of Talakai coincides with his return from shoulder surgery and is set to provide a boost to the Sharks team after a difficult week.
A train and trial player ahead of the 2020 season, impressing the coaching staff with his attitude and ability, Talakai went on to earn a contract and a permanent spot in the Sharks 17, playing 16 of the 21 games last year.
In an effort to keep himself focused and hungry, he rejected a longer term contract, preferring to back his ability and extend for just this current season, however having become integral to the team's success, they weren't letting his talents escape, with the versatile former Rabbitoh now committed to being a Shark for two more years.
"It’s definitely exciting, humbling and refreshing to have the club back me and want me back," the quietly spoken Talakai said.
The signing of Talakai comes ahead of a much-anticipated comeback, with off-season shoulder surgery stalling his return to the field until this point, however it comes at a time when the Sharks possibly need him most, with the Cronulla side battling with a long injury list.
Named on the interchange bench, Talakai is certain to see plenty of game time against Newcastle tonight, Ronaldo Mulitalo the latest Sharks player to succumb to injury, with a knee problem set to see the young outside back miss up to six weeks.
Talakai however is up for the challenge, having put in the many hours of rehab work and is more than ready to get back out on the field.
"The body is good, but it’s a good pack we’re coming up against and a good test for my shoulder. I’ve been waiting for this for six months," he added.
Following the Captain's run yesterday as the Sharks completed preparations for the Knights game, Talakai spoke to Sharks media about his new deal and his comeback game tonight.