Young and upcoming Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks star Kade Dykes will be looking to put the past season behind him when he makes his return to the field in 2024.
The 23-year-old fullback/five-eighth was tipped for a breakout season in 2023 after making his NRL debut the previous year but was sidelined after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in February.
Dykes is a third-generation Shark who progressed through their pathways system to reach the NRL. He follows in the footsteps of his father, Adam, and grandfather, John, who also played first grade for the club.
Dykes had a stellar season for the Newtown Jets in 2022 earning him honours in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Team of the Year at five-eighth. His consistent performances for the Jets earned him a debut for the Sharks against St George Illawarra Dragons in Round 21.
Dykes was presented his match jersey by his father and was surrounded by family, friends, and NRL teammates. He impressed on debut and played a key role in their 24-18 win.
After a promising performance, Dykes was given a second opportunity to represent the black, white and blue in the No.1 jersey and scored his first NRL try off a kick from former teammate Lachlan Miller.
Dykes underwent knee surgery following his injury and has recently returned to full team training after a season of rehabilitation. He faces competition for the five-eighth jumper from Braydon Trindall, and is also an option at fullback behind Will Kennedy.
Despite his setbacks, the Sharks remain confident in Dykes after re-signing him last month until the end of 2025.