Cronulla Sharks forward Braden Hamlin-Uele has confirmed his future with a long-term deal until the end of the 2026 season.

Off-contract at the end of the season and linked with the New Zealand Warriors, Hamlin-Uele has decided to extend his stay at the Cronulla Sharks on a two-year contract.

"I had this sort of realisation moment of having to look at the boys and tell them - if I was to leave - that I was leaving," a grateful Hamlin-Uele said in a media statement.

"I just broke down and cried and I knew just then that I'm meant to be a Cronulla Shark for as long as I can and I'm meant to be in the Shire.

"This club means everything to me, the boys mean everything to me. I love them like a second family and I'm just so grateful and thankful that I can be here for another two years with them."

Debuting in 2017 with the North Queensland Cowboys, Hamlin-Uele has gone on to play 98 of his 99 NRL games with the Sharks, where he has become a key member of Craig Fitzgibbon's forward pack.

The 29-year-old has also played a Test for New Zealand in 2019 and another for Samoa in 2022 before having his Rugby League World Cup campaign cut short.

His staying will see him create a lethal combination with New Zealand Warrior recruit Addin Fonua-Blake in the 2025 season in the middle of the field.

The club revealed that he won't take part in their second pre-season match against the Canterbury Bulldogs on Friday evening as he aims to be back in the early round of the 2024 season as he recovers from knee surgery.

"2024 is an exciting year for not only myself, but for the whole club," Hamlin-Uele added.

"I'm excited to be part of it, I'm excited to see what's happening at this club and I'm just excited to be able to add my flavour to the Cronulla Sharks.

"We have the ability and the team to go all the way. It just depends on how we turn up on the day and how consistent we are ... We're so connected and everyone's friends with everyone, so I don't see us taking a backward step."