Briton Nikora in line for New Zealand Test debut as Braden Hamlin-Uele re-signs with Cronulla Sharks

International: Young Sharks back-rower Briton Nikora is in line to play for New Zealand. Picture: John Veage
International: Young Sharks back-rower Briton Nikora is in line to play for New Zealand. Picture: John Veage

Young Sharks back-rower Briton Nikora has been named in New Zealand's extended 27-man squad to face Mate Ma'a Tonga in the inaugural Oceania Cup Test.

Nikora has played 12 of Cronulla's 13 NRL games this season after making his debut against Newcastle in round one.

Shaun Johnson has also been named in the Kiwi squad, with Cronulla coach John Morris keen for the Sharks five-eighth to get some playing time after returning to fitness from a long injury layoff.

New Zealand take on Tonga in Auckland on Saturday night.

Uele re-signs

Meanwhile, Cronulla have announced that Braden Hamlin-Uele has signed a three-year contract extension with the club.

A number of rival NRL clubs were reportedly interested in Hamlin-Uele but the prop has recommitted to the Sharks until the end of the 2022 season.

The 24-year-old started the season with NSWRL club Newtown but has impressed since stepping up to first grade with the Sharks, adding plenty of impact off the bench.

"I'm loving it here and [Morris] has brought the best out in me and now I get to showcase my talents for another three years. I think I belong here," Hamlin-Uele told the Sharks website.

Morris said it was a massive signing for the club.

"Everyone has seen what Braden has brought to our team this year. I'm so happy for him," Morris said.

"This time last year I wouldn't have thought that Braden would be signing a three-year contract with the club. We've worked really hard with him to get him up to the level he is now and it's a credit to himself."

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