Cronulla Sharks release Trent Hodkinson to join Manly Sea Eagles

Returning home: Trent Hodkinson has left Cronulla to re-join his first NRL club, Manly. Picture: Chris Lane
Returning home: Trent Hodkinson has left Cronulla to re-join his first NRL club, Manly. Picture: Chris Lane

Cronulla have released halfback Trent Hodkinson, with the former NSW State of Origin halfback joining Manly on a two-year deal.

Hodkinson signed with the Sharks on a one-year contract after leaving Newcastle in February and made four appearances in first grade for Cronulla.

But with the Sea Eagles offering the 29-year-old a two-year contract, Sharks coach Shane Flanagan did not want to hold Hodkinson back.

“It was part of an agreement we had with Trent, as we weren't in a position to extend his contract beyond 2018, if he could find a multi-year offer somewhere else we wouldn't stand in his way,” Flanagan said.

“He has been very good around our club. We thank him for the games he has played and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Hodkinson at Sharks training. Picture: Chris Lane

Hodkinson at Sharks training. Picture: Chris Lane

Flanagan’s son, Kyle, is now the next half in line should Cronulla need another six or seven. High-profile recruit Matt Moylan and 2016 premiership-winning halfback Chad Townsend have formed coach Flanagan’s first choice halves pairing this season.

But Flanagan junior, who was a star in the under-20s competition for Cronulla last season, is expected to provide adequate cover and competition.

Hodkinson, who started his career at Manly and returns to the club he left at the end of 2010, will be available for the Sea Eagles as they head to Melbourne to face the Storm on Saturday night.

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