SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Paul Gallen of the Sharks looks dejected during the NRL Qualifying Final match between the Sydney Roosters and the Cronulla Sharks at Allianz Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Cronulla captain Paul Gallen has inked a new deal with the Sharks that will see him become the first NRL player to play 19 consecutive seasons.

Gallen will make history in 2019 when he takes the field for the 19th season in a row.

The 37-year-old has played 326 games for the Sharks since making his debut in 2001, a record at the club.

Gallen could reach 350 games with an injury-free 2019.

Gallen contemplated retiring at the end of the 2018 season, but after playing 22 games and having the most averaged metres gained by any Cronulla forward (138m), the 37-year-old decided to have one last crack at winning a second premiership.

Gallen has said previously he intended to play-on in 2019 to mentor the Sharks talented youngsters and strive to win a second premiership.

“I can say that 2019 will be my last season, I now have an end date and with the talent we have here at the Sharks I am confident this year and next can be successful for myself and the Cronulla club,”  Gallen told the Sharks website in August.

“If I play 15 games or 25 games next year, while winning is the main aim, part of my role will also be to bring through and to help develop the next crop of talented young players at our club, as I’ve tried to do in recent years and as I’ll continue to do.”

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    • I like it better when I can disagree with you Woody. I feel strange (and a little dirty) being on the same side of the fence as you on any issue. Why couldn’t you have posted something boastful about the Roosters again so I could have a target to aim at?

      Well done Gal. Just like Sam Burgess, Gallen is one of the very few present day forwards that are tough enough to have survived the game in the 70’s and 80’s when the rules weren’t manicured to ensure that a player never broke a finger nail. Your Dylan Napa is another one. He set himself too early for that tackle and it turned ugly but there was no intent. What can a defender do when a ball runner changes direction or ducks into a tackle at the last minute when the defender is already committed to the tackle. Try swinging at a punching bag and holding your follow through at the last second, it’s easier said than done. The game’s gone SOFT. At least THAT’s something you’ll never hear associated with Gallen.

        • Oh look everyone. I have a new groupie! If two paragraphs are equal to a novel in your book then you have read many books to begin with. Unlike you school boy I don’t have a curfew and I run my own business so my time is my own.

        • Too late… clearly this stumped you!

          “If two paragraphs are equal to a novel in your book then you HAVEN’T read many books to begin with.”

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