The struggling Cronulla Sharks are on the verge of announcing four major signings for next season including boom Wests Tigers forward Andrew Fifita.
Fifita’s Tigers teammate Bryce Gibbs, Parramatta Eels halfback Jeff Robson and Newcastle Knights hooker Isaac De Gois are also headed for Shark Park.
The Daily Telegraph understands all four players have agreed to terms but the club is reluctant to be caught out with another “Kade Snowden” type announcement until all contracts have been signed.
The Sharks are using funds freed up from the departures of props Luke Douglas to the Gold Coast Titans and Snowden to Newcastle to rebuild their front-row with the two Wests Tigers players.
Fifita is a sensational prospect who played City-Country this year and who recently agreed to a 12-month contract extension at Leichhardt.
Salary cap pressure from signing Adam Blair has now forced coach Tim Sheens to release both players.
De Gois will be returning home to Cronulla after three years in Newcastle, where he was signed to replace local legend Danny Buderus.
He actually agreed to a new deal under the previous Knights management but the offer was withdrawn by the Nathan Tinkler Group.
He was part of the Sharks’ 2008 team under Ricky Stuart which finished equal minor premiers with Melbourne Storm and eventual NRL champions Manly.
In a further boost for the Sharks, Newcastle Knights boom forward Mark Taufua has also agreed to a two-year deal.
Four of Cronulla’s outstanding Toyota Cup prospects have also signed new contracts – Chad Townsend, Tyrone Peachey, Sione Masima and Tokerau Raru.
Local junior Townsend, who made his first grade debut on Friday night against the Broncos, has signed on for a further two years. He’s such an outstanding prospect that Robson from Parramatta will be flat out getting the half-back jersey from him.
The Sharks have also not ruled out offering an early release to struggling back-rower Anthony Tupou, who is soaking up $400,000 of the salary cap.
He is under contract until the end of next season.