SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 22: Oregon Kaufusi of the Eels celebrates scoring a try during the round 6 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and Wests Tigers at Bankwest Stadium on April 22, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Parramatta prop Oregon Kaufusi is understood to have signed a three-year deal with Cronulla from 2023.

The 22-year-old cemented his place into Brad Arthur's squad this year, playing 21 games across stints starting in the Eels' forward pack and from the interchange.

Kaufusi is among an extensive list of Eels players currently unsigned past the end of next season, with Parramatta having already lost the signatures of Reed Mahoney, Isaiah Papali'i, Marata Niukore and Ray Stone for the 2023 season.

Mahoney is set to land at the Bulldogs at the conclusion of his contract with Parramatta, while Papali'i (Tigers) and Niukore (Warriors) were also pried away on lucrative offers from elsewhere.

Now, according to The Daily TelegraphKaufusi is set to join the aforementioned trio in departing the blue and gold, signing a $1.2 million deal with the Sharks.

Kaufusi has been seen as a key figure in the Eels' future, which those prospects compounded following the losses of Papali'i and Niukore.

Parramatta were able to secure the services of Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Junior Paulo to new deals since the end of the 2021 season, which has boded well for Arthur's second-row stocks.

The Eels will remain in the premiership frame for 2022 with their current list structure, however it could be a make-or-break campaign given their departing stars.

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Kaufusi amassed a stellar campaign in 2021 to add to his long service to Parramatta, having been a prominent feature in their junior ranks.

The New Zealand-born forward made his NRL debut in 2018 and has tallied 44 matches with the Eels across four seasons.

1 COMMENT

  1. Mitch, I wonder if the dearth of comments on the site is due to difficulty in actually logging in. I enter my username of Cynic, then the password (case sensitive, yeah, I know). The site rejects the login so I click on the link to send a password to my email account. I go to email, click on the link, get a new password then log in with that. Next time round, it’s just the same – rinse and repeat. Maybe ask the IT guys to check it out, using real PC at home, not Admin-level accounts in the office.

    Anyway, Oregon Kafusi. Is the deal 2 years@$600K or 3 years@$400K ? I hope it’s the first alternative. He’s a respectable prop, but I don’t see him as a $600K prop. Last season he averaged 33 minutes a game (ignoring the single minute that he played against Souths) usually coming off the bench.

    Only 22 years old; 23 when he starts at Cronulla; so he should have plenty of years left in the tank, and is still maturing. Even better, if he gets to SOO standard, he’s unavailable as a Kiwi. I think signing him was a shrewd pick-up for the Sharks – if they paid only $400K

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