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In a significant retention coup, international front-rower Braden Hamlin-Uele has recommitted to the Sharks until the end of 2026 after inking a two-year contract extension on Wednesday.

Despite attracting interest from rival clubs, Hamlin-Uele has made Cronulla his home since arriving in 2018 and is delighted to prolong his tenure.

A New Zealand and Samoa representative, the 29-year-old has played all but one of his 99 NRL games in black, white and blue after debuting for the Cowboys in 2017.

"I had this sort of realisation moment of having to look at the boys and tell them - if I was to leave - that I was leaving," a grateful Hamlin-Uele said.

"I just broke down and cried and I knew just then that I'm meant to be a Cronulla Shark for as long as I can and I'm meant to be in the Shire.

"This club means everything to me, the boys mean everything to me. I love them like a second family and I'm just so grateful and thankful that I can be here for another two years with them."

Coach Craig Fitzgibbon and General Manager of Football Darren Mooney hold Hamlin-Uele in high regard and are elated to have secured his signature.

"Fitzy and I are extremely happy that Braden has made the decision to remain a Shark. He's a top-quality middle forward who always offers our team fantastic impact," Mooney said.

"More than that, he's an outstanding person who has developed himself on and off the field during his time at the club. He possesses terrific leadership qualities and helps set the standard for our younger players.

"We look forward to seeing him injury free and playing at his explosive best this season and into the future."

Bringing power and passion, Hamlin-Uele will be a crucial part of the Sharks pack this year as they aim to assert their dominance as heavyweight contenders.

He is also set to form a devastating combination with Addin Fonua-Blake in 2025 when his Kiwi countryman makes the move to the Shire from the Warriors.

"2024 is an exciting year for not only myself, but for the whole club," Hamlin-Uele added, paying tribute to all the coaches and staff who have helped him on his journey.

"I'm excited to be part of it, I'm excited to see what's happening at this club and I'm just excited to be able to add my flavour to the Cronulla Sharks.

"We have the ability and the team to go all the way. It just depends on how we turn up on the day and how consistent we are ... We're so connected and everyone's friends with everyone, so I don't see us taking a backward step."

Auckland-born Hamlin-Uele marked his Sharks debut with a win over the Raiders in round 10, 2018. He established himself as a first grader the next season and has been a fixture in the Cronulla line-up ever since, tallying four finals appearances so far.

The prop won't play in Friday's trial against the Bulldogs as he continues to recover from knee surgery but expects to return early in the Telstra Premiership.

Hamlin-Uele played 19 games last season, averaging 19 tackles and 94 run metres.

Click the player at the top of the page to watch BHU's full Sharks TV interview.

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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