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Hau Tapuha earns contract extension

After an impressive pre-season, hulking prop Tuku Hau Tapuha has signed a one-year contract extension that will keep him at the Sharks until the end of 2025.

The 22-year-old, who joined the club from the Sydney Roosters in March last year, featured off the bench in recent trials against the Knights and Bulldogs.

The 196cm forward worked with coach Craig Fitzgibbon at the Roosters and is now flourishing under his tutelage in the Shire.

"Tuku is an outstanding young prospect who is still developing his craft as a front rower," Sharks General Manager Football Darren Mooney said.

"The coaching staff have been extremely impressed with his attitude, commitment, and ability to learn since he joined us this time last year.

"At only 22 years of age, we are all looking forward to his continued growth and development over the next two seasons."

While yet to officially debut for Cronulla, Hau Tapuha notched up three NRL games in 2021 and represented the Māori All Stars in 2022.

Born in Auckland, it hasn't taken long for him to feel settled at the Sharks.

"I'm pleased to call this club home for the next year again," Hau Tapuha said.

"I look forward to this year – it's a big year for me, big year for the squad in general and I look forward to the challenge ahead.

"The thing that stands out most (at the Sharks) is the culture, the vibe.

"When it's an enjoyable place, the rest takes care of its own. When you're really having fun and doing what you love, you don't really have to worry about anything else."

He knows it won't be easy to unseat the incumbents in the Cronulla pack, but a focused Hau Tapuha is ready to seize any opportunities that come his way this season.

"It'd mean a lot," he said.

"We've got a lot of strength in our middle. I think our senior playing group really leads from the front, and it does make it a big challenge and a more rewarding accomplishment when you break into that 17.

"But it definitely is a big goal to not only get into that 17 but stay in there."

Hau Tapuha played 21 NSW Cup games for Newtown in 2023, showing his adaptability by starting in the second row for the last five rounds.

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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