Explosive Gold Coast Titans forward Sam Tagataese has been granted a mid-season release to join the Cronulla Sharks on a three-year contract.
The deal is effective immediately and could see Tagataese turning out for The Shire as early as next weekend against the Bulldogs.
Tagataese only informed Titans teammates of his decision on Thursday and finished his address by saying ‘I will see you all in a couple of weeks’, referring to what now promises to be an intriguing clash with Cronulla at Skilled Park in a fortnight.
Tagataese had become a cult hero since joining the Titans from the Melbourne Storm in 2009, his brutal defensive style a highlight with fans.
But behind the big hits, Tagataese has largely struggled to nail down a permanent spot in the starting 17.
He has been restricted to just seven NRL games this season, stuck behind a wealth of Titans back row talent including Ash Harrison, Greg Bird, Mark Minichiello, Bodene Thompson, Ben Ridge and Luke O’Dwyer.
Tagataese still had another two years to run on his current Titans deal, but cut it short to take up the Sharks offer which will take him through to the end of 2014.