Cronulla Sharks Training Session
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 02: Sharks coach John Morris watches on during a Cronulla Sharks NRL training session at PointsBet Stadium on June 02, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Cronulla have confirmed the departure of coach John Morris, with Sydney Roosters assistant Craig Fitzgibbon set to take over the reigns at the Shire from the end of this season.

Morris' exit will be taken with immediate effect, meaning his right-hand man Josh Hannay will take over the coaching duties on an interim basis.

It was announced on Tuesday afternoon that Fitzgibbon would lead the Sharks from the 2022 season, with the club confirming hours later that Morris would leave Cronulla immediately.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Roosters assistant coaches Craig Fitzgibbon (L) and Jason Taylor (R) look on during a Sydney Roosters NRL training session at Moore Park on March 19, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Sharks chief executive Dino Mezzatesta said it was a difficult decision, but that there is some level of excitement given Fitzgibbon's arrival.

“This decision was certainly not lightly taken, much discussion and consideration took place at Board and Management level before Craig was approached and now appointed, and we are thrilled he has accepted the position,” Sharks CEO Dino Mezzatesta said in a club statement.

“Craig has served a long and successful apprenticeship under Trent Robinson at the Roosters and alongside Brad Fittler at a State level and we are confident he can emulate that success as a head coach here at the Sharks.

“However, in announcing the appointment, we need to acknowledge the contribution John Morris has made at the Cronulla club as a player, development and 20’s coach, NRL assistant, and as our head coach in 2019-2020 and to this point in our 2021 season.

“As coach John has brought through a number of promising youngsters to where they are now performing at an NRL level, his work ethic can’t be questioned and there is little doubt he has a bright future as a coach in the NRL. We certainly wish him future success.

“The decision made by the Club was an extremely difficult one however we now back the appointment of Craig, look forward to the future and to him taking the team to the next level in delivering success in 2022 and beyond."

Hannay's first match in charge of the Sharks will take place on Friday against Newcastle, with Cronulla currently placed ninth after a 2-3 start to the season.