Local junior Jayden Brailey has signed a contract extension with the Sharks, committing his future to the club for another two seasons.
Already secured for the upcoming 2018 season, the new two-year deal will see the 21-year-old Brailey remain in Sharks colours until at least the end of 2020.
From the Aquinas Colts Junior League club and a product of the Sharks Academy and development program, Brailey enjoyed an outstanding rookie season in 2017, with his slick service from dummy half and solid defence in the middle of the field a feature of his game.
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan was pleased Brailey had settled his immediate playing future and was looking forward to being a part of the young hookers continued development.
“Jayden is only young and he had a tough first year. He needed to play big minutes, then he had the broken jaw but he is tough and resilient. He came back from the injury and had an excellent season,” Flanagan said.
“He has the respect of his senior teammates, from players like Gallen and Lewis, which is important, and if Jayden keeps going and keeps doing what he’s doing he will have a long and successful career at the Sharks and in the NRL.”
Following the retirement of Grand Final-winning number nine Michael Ennis, Brailey won the job as his replacement after a strong 2017 pre-season, cementing his place in the Sharks side early last year.
A broken jaw in round 20 was a hiccup as he missed a series of games, however, Brailey returned to play a role in the Sharks push into the finals.
He played 19 NRL matches on the year, scoring four tries while averaging 36 tackles per game.
Established NRL players Ava Seumanufagai from the Tigers and former Rabbitoh Aaron Gray, along with returning local junior Scott Sorensen and highly-rated young Cowboys prop Braden Uele, are other new faces on the Sharks roster for 2018.