The Parramatta Eels have lost their fifth player for 2023, with Oregon Kaufusi signing a new deal with the Cronulla Sharks.
First reported yesterday, both clubs have confirmed the news this morning, with Kaufusi set to link up with the Shire-based club on a two-year deal for 2023 and 2024.
The Auckland-born forward has played for the Eels since making his NRL debut in 2018, playing 44 games and becoming a regular part of the first-grade team last year.
He managed 21 games during 2021, with the Sharks reportedly signing him on around $400,000 per year.
He may not walk into the starting team at Sharks given the signings of Dale Finucane and Cameron McInnes in the forward pack, but will at the very least compete for bench spots from 2023 onwards.
Kaufusi joins Isaiah Papali'i (Wests Tigers), Reed Mahoney (Canterbury Bulldogs), Ray Stone (The Dolphins) and Marata Niukore (New Zealand Warriors) in exiting the club for 2023.
Eels' general manager of football Mark O'Neill said Kaufusi is an asset for the Eels.
“Oregon is a good young man and a talented footballer who has been willing to work hard and contribute to the team in whatever role he has been given.” he said.
“We would have loved to extend Oregon’s time with the Eels, but as we manage our roster over the coming seasons, that hasn’t been possible and Oregon has taken up an opportunity with another club.
“We look forward to Oregon continuing to make a positive contribution to the Club in the 2022 season and we wish he and his partner all the best for 2023 and beyond.”
Yesterday it was reported as $1.2 million – length of contract unstated. Today it is two years at $400K. Any chance you could ring the Sharks and ask them?
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