With the retirements of experienced props Ben Ross, Mark Taufua and Jon Green, as Sharks coach Shane Flanagan explained, the signing of the 26-year-old Prior is a boost to the Sharks forward stocks for 2014.
“Matt is a quality player and someone with plenty of experience who will add to the depth we have in the forwards,” Flanagan said. “He has shown he has the ability to play a number of positions but we are looking for him to play in the forwards, front row-second row, for us and are confident he will be a valuable addition to our squad.”
An Illawara junior hailing from the Thirroul club, Prior debuted in the NRL in 2008 and has gone on to play 120 games in the top grade. He played in 23 of the 24 games contested by the Dragons in 2013.
Prior, who stands 190cms and weighs 106kgs, was a member of the St George Illawarra premiership winning side in 2010 and represented Country Origin in 2011.
Sharks player recruitment for the 2014 season will continue, with Prior set to join fellow newcomer Blake Ayshford at the club next year.
The pair will join the rest of the Sharks 2014 squad when they assemble for the start of pre-season training in early November.