Promising 20-year-old playmaker Niwhai Puru has committed his future to the Sharks, agreeing to a two-year deal which will see him on the club's development list in 2023 before becoming a member of the NRL Top 30 squad in 2024.
A Panthers’ local junior hailing from Blacktown, Puru secured an early release from his Penrith contract to make his move to the Shire.
A goal-kicking half, with size, skill and speed, Puru was a member of the Panthers’ Grand Final-winning Jersey Flegg side in 2022, while also making 11 appearances in NSW Cup for Penrith over the last two seasons.
Elusive on his feet, playing for the Panthers Niwhai came off the bench to score two tries against the Sharks in a 2022 NRL trial match at CommBank Stadium.
Puru has settled into the Sharks environment well over the opening weeks of pre-season, impressing his new coach Craig Fitzgibbon with his professionalism and natural ability.
“Niwhai is an impressive young talent and an excellent fit for our club,” said Fitzgibbon
“He displays great attitude and skill level and we’re excited to have him onboard for at least the next two seasons and to watching him develop.”
The signing of Puru adds to the Sharks depth in the halves, with Nicho Hynes, Matt Moylan and Braydon Trindall all back on deck for the 2023 season.