Elusive Australian full-back Ben Barba has quit Brisbane Broncos and signed a three-year deal with Cronulla Sharks believed to be worth $800,000 (£440,000) per year.
The 25-year-old former Dally M medal winner left the Queensland club as part of new coach Wayne Bennett’s restructuring. He was also pursued by Parramatta Eels and North Queensland Cowboys but the extra money Cronulla had left over from Todd Carney’s sacking last season proved to be the deal breaker.
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan told the Sydney Morning Herald: “I’m sure Sharks fans will be really excited about watching Benny play.
“He has flair, X-factor and try scoring ability, but it’s not just about the tries he scores, it’s the tries he creates and the opportunities he provides for others.
“Our attack is an area we need to improve, I’ve focused a lot of my recruitment around that and Benny fits perfectly into the team I’m trying to build.”
Barba added: “I realise I am a professional sportsman and must go where the work is to support and provide for my young family and although it is unfortunate I have had to leave the Brisbane Broncos after just one year, I am grateful to Shane and the Sharks Board for providing me with this opportunity to join their club.
“I believe the Sharks have a quality squad and I look forward to playing alongside captain Paul Gallen and former Bulldogs teammate Mick Ennis down at Remondis Stadium from next season.”