Offering valuable depth and versatility, talented second-rower Billy Burns has signed with the Sharks on a one-year contract.
The 25-year-old has joined the club's full-time NRL squad for 2024 after spending the previous three seasons at St George Illawarra. He trained alongside his new teammates for the first time at PointsBet Stadium last Friday.
A tall edge forward who runs a strong line and can play centre in a pinch, Burns has tallied 41 top-grade appearances since his debut for the Panthers in 2019.
Burns is a handy addition for coach Craig Fitzgibbon as he bolsters his back-row stocks following the retirement of veteran captain Wade Graham.
"It's good to be here. It's a new kid at school type of feeling, but getting in here and meeting the boys, they're all genuine and good blokes," Burns said.
"They're definitely making me feel welcome. I was attracted to the Sharks by how proud the club is, as well as the coaching staff with Fitzy leading the charge. The pride in the club and the jersey is something I wanted to be a part of.
"I want to work on my game and hopefully play some consistent first grade - that's always a goal - and help this club any way I can to win a comp."
The Parkes Spacemen junior was initially recruited by Penrith, featuring in their 2016 SG Ball premiership and successful under-20s team.
Burns went on to play 12 NRL matches across two seasons at the foot of the mountains before moving to the Dragons, where he notched up another 29 top-flight games while gaining captaincy experience in the NSW Cup.
Agile despite his big frame, the 2016 Australian Schoolboys representative has scored nine NRL tries - including three in 10 appearances last season - as well as crossing the stripe 31 times in 61 reserve-grade matches.
Billy Burns - fact file
Junior club: Parkes Spacemen
NRL debut: Penrith Panthers v Sydney Roosters - round 24, 2019