Chris Heighington

The Sharks have retained experienced forwards Chris Heighington and Sam Tagataese, with the pair committing to new one-year contacts that will see them remain at the Cronulla club for the 2016 season.

Heighington has signed his new deal and Tagataese has agreed to terms, with the announcement set to provide a boost to the team ahead of their last round clash with the Sea Eagles and week one of the Finals Series to follow.

After joining Cronulla in 2013 following a 200-game NRL career at the Wests Tigers, Heighington has proved an effective, durable and dependable member of the Sharks forward pack, playing more than 20 games in each of his three seasons at the club.

A member of the 2005 Premiership winning Tigers side and a Great Britain international due to his family heritage, Heighington debuted in the NRL in 2003 and now has 266 top grade games to his credit.

As for his front row partner, Tagataese is an imposing physical presence on the field but also a willing and compassionate community contributor off it. His new deal will also see him extend his stay at the Sharks into 2016 after arriving at the club in mid-2011 following stints at Melbourne and the Gold Coast.

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Tagataese’s value to the team has been highlighted in 2015 by the impact he provides with his hard running and bruising defence. He will play his 133rd NRL game when the Sharks tackle Manly at Remondis Stadium on Sunday.