Kyle Flanagan says he wants to be a future leader at Cronulla after the Sharks announced the youngster had signed a two-year contract extension with the club.
The 20-year-old will remain in the shire until at least the end of the 2021 campaign.
Flanagan made his NRL debut in the win over Newcastle at the end of last season and had a glittering year for Newtown in the Intrust Super Premiership.
The Aquinas Colts junior told the Leader last week he aimed to make 10 to 15 appearances in first grade in 2019.
He will challenge 2016 premiership-winning halfback Chad Townsend and new signing Shaun Johnson for a place in the halves with Matt Moylan likely to shift to fullback to replace the departed Valentine Holmes.
Flanagan said he saw himself as part of Cronulla’s long-term future.
“Being a local boy I've grown up watching the Sharks and I've always wanted to play for the club,” he said.
“I witnessed the grand final victory and I’d like to think we can replicate the success of 2016 and I can be a part of that in the years to come.
“We have a core group of experienced players [in] Paul Gallen, Wade Graham, Josh Dugan, Andrew Fifita and others who I’m looking forward to playing with and learning from but I also want to be a part of the next generation.
“I want to become a leader at the club alongside close friends like Bronson Xerri and Blayke Brailey who I've come through the junior system with here at the Sharks. I want to help bring success to the Sharks in the year ahead.”
The news follows on from the signing of New Zealand international Johnson last week and the re-signing of talented young halfback Braydon Trindall.
Trindall, 19, was player of the year for Cronulla’s premiership-winning Jersey Flegg side and won man of the match honours in the grand final victory over Penrith in September.
The Sharks have also signed 18-year-old starlet Jangala Bennet.
The youngster arrives in the shire with plenty of potential after helping Brisbane’s Nudgee College to a GPS First XV title this year.
Bennet was also included in Queensland’s Emerging Maroons under-20s Origin squad for a four-day camp this month.