With the contract signed only today, the Warriors have confirmed Kiwi and Cronulla utility Gerard Beale will join the club on a three-year deal from next season.
The 27-year-old 2016 NRL premiership winner is the club’s third new signing after back rowers Tohu Harris (Melbourne) and Leivaha Pulu (Gold Coast) were secured earlier in the year.
“While there has been a lot of discussion about Gerard coming to the club, we weren’t in a position to make an announcement until his contract had been officially signed by both parties,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.
“Now the formalities have been completed, we’re delighted to have him included in our 2018 squad. He was a premiership winner with Cronulla last year and brings exceptional NRL and international experience.”
Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney said Beale would be invaluable for the club.
“Gerard is professional in all he does and has a wonderful attitude,” he said.
“The way he has overcome adversity with injuries earlier in his career shows the sort of character he has. He’s going to be a great addition to our squad with his ability to play in all the positions in the outside backs.”
Heading into the 2017 finals this weekend, Beale has played 162 NRL matches and scored 44 tries in a nine-season career which has seen him used at fullback, centre and on the wing.
He was 18 when he made his NRL debut for Brisbane in 2009, his only match that year, followed by 10 more appearances in 2010. He also played 31 matches for the Broncos in the NYC from 2008-2010.
Brisbane-born Beale, who is of Maori heritage, played for the Junior Kangaroos in 2010 but switched allegiance and made the first of 10 Test appearances for the Kiwis in 2011.
After 63 matches with the Broncos from 2009-2012, Beale spent the next two seasons with St George Illawarra – the first cut short by a season-ending knee injury – before linking with the Sharks in 2015.
He has appeared 70 times for Cronulla. In his 20 matches so far this year he has been used predominantly on the wing, scoring seven tries and averaging 11 runs and 109 metres a game.