Former Sydney Roosters prop Tuku Hau Tapuha has officially linked up with the Cronulla Sharks on a two-year deal.
Tapuha was released by the Roosters earlier this week after the tri-colours made the signing of Nathan Brown from the Parramatta Eels official for the rest of the season.
At just 21 years of age, the Auckland-born forward made his NRL debut with the Roosters in 2021 as the club dealt with an enormous injury crisis.
That flipped in 2022 however, with Tapuha forced to bide his time in reserve grade with the North Sydney Bears, unable to add to his first-grade tally.
He is hoping to flip that around at the Sharks though, who see enormous promise in the hulking front-rower, who weighs in at 114 kilograms and stands at 196 centimetres.
Tapuha said that first grade is the aim upon his signing with the club, where he will remain until at least the end of the 2024 season as part of the Top 30 squad.
“Definitely one of my big goals this season is to get some first grade under my belt this year and I think Fitzy has given me a great opportunity with this move,” Hau Tapuha said in a club statement.
An impressive performer in the reserve grade competition at North Sydney last year, he is expected to start his time in the Shire in the same spot, but the one-time Maori All Star said his transition to the Sharks has been smooth.
“The boys have made me feel really welcome and I'm loving it here. The change of scenery has been enjoyable, and the boys have made the transition easy,” he said.
He has not been named for this week's Newtown Jets clash against the Canberra Raiders but is a strong chance to feature next weekend against the St George Illawarra Dragons in the reserve grade competition.