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Fitzgibbon earns long-term extension after strong start at Sharks

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have rewarded True Blue Craig Fitzgibbon by extending his contract at the club for another three years.

Fitzgibbon was already signed until the end of 2024 but his impressive debut season as NRL head coach in 2022 - 26 games, 18 wins, eight losses for 69.2 per cent winning margin and finishing second on the ladder – has secured him the job until the end of 2027.

The 45-year-old had spent 11 years as Sydney Roosters assistant coach and was part of three NRL Premierships in 2013, 2018 and 2019.

During that time he was Westpac NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler’s assistant from 2019-2021, enjoying two Origin series wins. He also coached NSW Country in 2016 and 2017.

But most would agree Fitzgibbon is building an impressive first grade side at the Sharks, evidenced by his recruitment of former Storm utility Nicho Hynes, who played halfback at Cronulla-Sutherland last year and won the Dally M Medal with a record 38 points from 23 matches.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for us to build on what we started here at the Sharks last year,” Fitzgibbon told Sharks Media.

“We have outstanding playing talent, backed by a Board led by Steve Mace who are supportive of what we are trying to achieve.

“We enjoyed our first season, but our journey has just begun and we are looking to create an even stronger environment going forward,” he added.

The Sharks will also make their NRLW debut this year and assistant coach and Sky Blue, Ruan Sims, said Fitzgibbon’s input to the women’s training and preparations has been invaluable. Sims is also head coach of the Sharks’ Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership side.

“I get a lot more out of if than he does, that’s for sure,” Sims told

“He’s been incredibly open and accommodating.”

Sharks Chairman Steve Mace is excited to have Fitzgibbon around a bit longer.

“Craig managed to create an immediate impression when appointed to the role of head coach, his results then spoke for themselves and we believe as a Board and Management that the sky is the limit for our football program under his leadership,” Mace said.

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