The Sharks can announce forwards Jack Williams and Braden Hamlin-Uele have signed contract extensions that will see them remain at the Cronulla club through the 2023-2024 seasons.
Both integral to the Sharks early season success, the new two-year deals signed by the pair is a boost for the club ahead of their round 11 game against the Titans.
Williams with a shoulder issue and Hamlin-Uele a pectoral tear, are currently sidelined for extended periods but are expected to play a part in the Sharks push for a finals berth later in the season.
Developing into a consistent performer at the NRL level since joining the club in 2017, then debuting in the top grade in 2018, Williams played all 24 games in 2022 in the Sharks NRL side.
After missing the early rounds this year recovering from knee surgery, Williams played through rounds five to 10 before suffering a shoulder injury in the game against the Raiders last Sunday.
The new contract secures his future at the Sharks, where Williams aims to play a role in any success the club can achieve over the next three seasons.
“Injury setbacks from this year aside, I am enjoying my footy and playing alongside the group we have here at the Sharks and feel I’m continuing to improve under the coaching of Fitzy and the current staff,” Williams said.
“I’m looking forward to what the rest of this year and to making a major contribution over the next two seasons,” Williams added.
After playing his junior football with the Cooma Colts, Williams transitioned into the Canberra Raiders junior representative system, where he was NYC Under-20’s Player of the Year in 2016. Recruited by the Sharks in 2017, Williams has gone on to play 75 NRL games for the Cronulla club.
As for Hamlin-Uele, the subject of speculation as to where he might land from 2023 onwards, the hard-running front rower was always keen to remain a Shark.
“It was reported I was happy to stay at the Sharks and play for nothing,” Hamlin-Uele joked. “But in all seriousness, I’m happy here at the Sharks, I think we have a squad that can really do something over the next few years and I never really wanted to play anywhere else.
“I’m pleased to have finalised the contract extension and will now fully focus on getting back on the field and to hopefully playing a part in the team’s run into the finals.”
Known for his tackle-busting runs and for a front rower an uncanny ability to score a try, Hamlin-Uele played one game at the Cowboys in 2017 before making the move to the Sharks in 2018.
He has since played 68 NRL games, scoring 12 tries.
The contract extensions for the two leading Sharks forwards comes on the back of the recent acquisition of Oregon Kaufusi from the Eels, with more signing and player retention news for 2023 and beyond expected in the coming weeks.