NRL Rd 15 - Dragons v Raiders
WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 19: Billy Burns of the Dragons dives to score during the round 15 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Canberra Raiders at WIN Stadium, on June 19, 2021, in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Billy Burns has reportedly made an immediate switch to the Cronulla Sharks.

The second-rower, who has been with the St George Illawarra Dragons since the start of the 2021 season, has played 41 NRL games, being with the Penrith Panthers prior to that in 2019 and 2020 for his first 12 games.

Off-contract at the end of 2023, it was reported earlier in the season that the Dragons were in talks to retain Burns on a new deal, as well as Connor Muhleisen.

The young dummy half has now been re-signed by incoming coach Shane Flanagan and his recruitment staff at the Red V, but the same can't be said for Burns.

Instead, News Corp are reporting that Burns will find a new home in the Shire for 2024 where he will serve as a handy back-up to the starting second-row that is already in place of Briton Nikora and Teig Wilton.

The club's depth in the back-row has taken something of a shot this off-season with the retirement of veteran Wade Graham.

The reported move also comes just a day after the Sharks confirmed they had released Connor Tracey to the Canterbury Bulldogs. It was believed a player swap for youngster Michael Gabrael was on the way, but nothing has been confirmed to that effect, leaving Craig Fitzgibbon's side with a free spot in their Top 30.

It's now believed Burns will fill that spot, with the second-rower making 12 appearances for the Dragons at first-grade level in 2023 to go with some impressive NSW Cup form.