SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 24: Ben Barba of the Sharks celebrates with team mate Valentine Holmes after scoring a try during the round 20 NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Newcastle Knights at Southern Cross Group Stadium on July 24, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

The Sharks might have finally ended their Premiership drought after 50 years but there is still a battle to be fought, with a number of star players off contract soon.

Cronulla have less than a month to prepare for November 1, when up to a dozen of their first-grade team will officially hit the open market ahead of the 2017 season.

Jack Bird, Valentine Holmes, Ben Barba, Chad Townsend, Gerard BealeSosaia Feki, Matt Prior and Wade Graham are all off contract at the end of 2017 and the Sharks will have to work overtime to keep them all in the Shire.

Cronulla chief executive Lyall Gorman has issued a hands-off warning to suitors of their hottest prospects in Jack Bird and Valentine Holmes, claiming the star duo will not be driven solely by money when signing their next deals.

Long term captain Paul Gallen will retire at the end of 2017 and it’s assumed that Wade Graham will take over, making him another key retention target for the club.

Previous Premiers the North Queensland Cowboys have shown it’s possible to keep a winning side intact, with the club re-signing a host of their 2015 Grand Final winning team.


  1. not a problem they have already sealed verbal deals with all but 2 ..beale and townshend but they dont want to leave anyway …why all the fuss .. its after they just signed t rex and starling ….believe that

    • Verbal deals count for absolutely nothing. If it’s not a contract signed by both parties it means jack.
      As for Gorman issuing a hands off, there is stuff all he can do once the first of November rolls around. Any club can make offers to sharks players that are off contract whether he likes it or not.

    • Believe this…. your a knob
      Verbal agreements mean nothing
      If they did Inglis would be a bronco DCE a Titan
      Foran would be an eel still Hayne would of returned to be an eel
      Hell Hayne even agreed to join the chooks he’s now a Titan
      I could go on I’ve got a heap more
      Point is if I had a dollar for Everytime a player has agreed verbally only to reneg
      I’d be a rich mother

      • mickization

        The last “verbal agreement” that was honoured was by Peter Sterling back in the mid-eighties! He talked about hand shake deals back then and a players word was their bond. How times have changed!

    • No. They are interested. Tigers were too – but apparently re-signing with Cronulla is still an option. Flanagan is a huge fan of his work apparently.

  2. I don’t think they would be too concerned about having so many players coming off contract at the end of 2017. Most teams have many players in this situation because players, agents and clubs are waiting for the salary cap amount for 2018 and beyond to be set.

    No way Wade Graham leaves, and I’d be shocked if Townsend left. The only real issue for Cronulla is that they will have to re-sign Holmes, Barba and Bird, and at the same time lose the cap credit they get for having Gallen in the squad as a long-term player.

  3. congratulations to the sharks played really well ……. so an honest opinion here gallen should of retired before he lifted the shield time to move on he got his grand final and the clubs first well done but stand aside time for someone else to step up and take leadership…… dunno about lunk head Fifita he could be so much like gallen unfortunately his brain capacity doesn’t quite allow him to but had a great game time for the sharks to manage there players now who do we need who dont we need cause now everyone gets a price increase from the gf win

  4. pedro the saint

    pedro, I wouldn’t do it mate. You can already see the sad result of what happens when you transplant a chimp brain into a human (as evidenced by the comments above).

  5. @itsonlyaderrick
    Nothing you have said with all your ridiculous claims eventuated well except the sharks will win but hell if you piss in the dark and swing it around a bit you’ll hit the toilet eventually.
    Go outside find the nearest freeway and play in the middle of it.

      • I heard he got done for indecent exposure and stalking Cooper Cronk. When they searched his house they found Cooper Cronk shrines in every room and every wall was wallpaper of Cooper Cronk. When questioned he stated Cooper Cronk would be the type of man any girl would be lucky to have (one of ronnie’s best quotes)

        • tonymontana

          “Cooper Cronk would be the type of man any girl would be lucky to have”

          Are you serious? Wow, I think THAT is what they call a “freudian slip”. So he did the “full Cronk!” from the sounds of it. LOL

  6. history shows it’s pretty much won & done for these guys no matter who they resign or manage to sign, if your not improving your going out the back door and whilst it’s great they got over the line the sharkies will not be better without Ennis and Gallen, Heighington, Lewis etc one year older.

  7. souths 21 premierships the most premierships in the game, lol@broncos the new kids on the block with no history with 6 premierships so when will the broncos win their 21st premiership?i know you cant tell me lol

    • Hey at least Bronx fans will see the Bronx next premiership in their lifetime lol
      You the game will be played by robots before Souths win another Comp lol

      • mickization

        I will save this quote for the coming seasons and let’s just see if this quote doesn’t come back to haunt you.

        Mind you the Broncos have a massive head start with their bottomless TPA deals and their ability to pressure players (in the name of state loyalty) into signing for well under their market value.

        Is the NRL actually monitoring how much Broncos players actually get paid after TPA’s as they are supposed to? It’s an old argument from other forums but all money paid to players (which attracts them to or keeps them at a club should count against the salary cap. Otherwise the Broncos effectively have an “uncapped” cap! ATM it seems the Broncos players are all on a flat fee of $300K these days.

        Pretty easy to win a comp with that sort of advantage!

      • tonymontana

        5 (but OK I was in pre-school for 2 of them, and 2 were around kindy!)

        “old mate” probably won’t remember any after his “chimp brain transplant!” so I wouldn’t waste my time asking.

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