It was a long time coming, and the deals have finally been done – with Wests Tigers duo Beau Ryan and Chris Heighington signing 3-year deals with the Cronulla Sharks, to start in the 2013 NRL season.
With the Tigers now bolstered by additional back and forward depth, for coach Shane Flanagan, he is excited by both players joining the club, and seeing what they have to offer.
Both add to what we are trying to build here at the Sharks. They are quality players and are quality people,â€ Flanagan said.
â€œBeau had a great season last year – heâ€™s a try scorer and I see his best footy in front on him.
â€œWith Chris, he played for England last year, brings experience and compliments the other players we have in our back row such as Paul Gallen, Wade Graham and Luke Lewis.â€
For Ryan, who has played in 104 NRL games since making his debut in Rd 16 of 2007, is excited at the new opportunity in his career.
â€œI feel very excited to join such a proud club, and I canâ€™t wait to work with the great coaching staff and to play with all the great players at the Sharks,â€ Ryan said.
For Chris Heighington, also a former Tiger, he has played in 201 NRL games, won a premiership with the Tigers, and represented England on four occasions on the international stage – with the lock also excited at the opportunity to join the Sharks.
â€œIâ€™m real excited to sign with the Sharks,â€ Heighington said.
â€œThey have a great playing roster with guys like Gallen, Lewis and Carney at the club and Iâ€™m also looking forward to playing alongside former Tigers Bryce Gibbs, Andrew Fifita and John Morris again.â€