The Sharks have continued to build their NRL roster for the 2022 season in announcing the recruitment of noted try scorer Matt Ikuvalu from the Roosters, the retention of experienced forward Aiden Tolman, the signing of 2021 Olympian and Australian Rugby Sevens star Locky Miller, while also adding 2021 Queensland Cup Player of the Year Jayden Berrell to their top 30 squad list.
Ikuvalu was released from his contract by the Roosters one year early, allowing him to take up a two-year deal with the 2016 Premiers.
Since making his NRL debut for the Roosters in 2018, Ikuvalu has made 38 appearances for the tricolours and has scored 25 tries. His most memorable performance came against the North Queensland Cowboys in round 19 of 2020 when he became the first Roosters player to score five tries in a match since 1955.
Despite making the move to a new club, Ikuvalu believes a familiar face will help make him feel at home.
“Fitzy was a big factor. Not so much that he was trying to pull me across, it was more so that it’s still a home feel rather than going to a completely new club,” Ikuvalu told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“He’s still going to have the same morals and the new system that he brings, so I’m not learning a whole new system.”
Joining him in the Shire will be former Wynumm Manly Sea Eagles hooker Berrell. Berrell is a highly touted youngster who played in the Australian Schoolboys side as well as the Broncos pathways systems.
He played a pivotal role in taking the Sea Eagles to the 2021 Grand Final where they fell just short to Norths Devils.
While Rugby Sevens star Miller is crossing codes, it won’t be his first taste of the 13-a-side game. Miller played Rugby League on the NSW North Coast up until the age of 22 and is considered to have plenty of speed to offer.
The Sharks have also retained 296-gamer Tolman who has extended his contract for one year. Tolman played 21 games in 2021 finishing with one try, 106m per game and 37.3 tackles per game at an efficiency of 96.4 per cent.