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Michael Ennis to finish his career with the Cronulla Sharks

Moving on: Canterbury skipper Michael Ennis has signed a two-year deal with Cronulla.

Moving on: Canterbury skipper Michael Ennis has signed a two-year deal with Cronulla. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Michael Ennis will finish his career as a Shark after agreeing to a two-year deal with the Shire outfit.

The moves ends months of speculation over the future of the Canterbury captain, with Cronulla expected to announce the news as soon as this week.

The Sharks were desperate for a quality hooker after the Bulldogs prised young gun Michael Lichaa from their grasp earlier this year, although that signing is also yet to be officially announced.

Incumbent Cronulla rake John Morris will retire at the end of the year, while back-up dummy half Isaac De Gois was recently granted a release to play for Parramatta as cover for the injured Nathan Peats.

Ennis, who has a strong relationship with Ricky Stuart from their time together at Origin level, was also courted by Canberra, but his signature came down to a race in two. The 32-year-old is highly regarded at Canterbury but they could not compete with the money on offer from the Sharks.

Ennis has been one of the key figures behind Canterbury's resurgence, playing 121 of his 207 NRL games at the ''Family Club''. Most of them have been as skipper, although coach Des Hasler appointed Frank Pritchard as co-captain this season. Pritchard has been sidelined through injury for much of the year and it remains to be seen whether Hasler will appoint another captain for next year's campaign.

News that he is moving on is likely to come as a shock to Ennis' Bulldogs teammates, who were hoping he would stay put. The former Knights, Dragons and Broncos hooker is considered one of the most competitive players in the NRL and has been described as a mentor by NSW half Josh Reynolds.

Ennis himself has represented the Blues on seven occasions and was a frontrunner to add to the tally if Robbie Farah had not overcome injury in time for Origin I.

The development is likely to strengthen the resolve of his Canterbury teammates to send him out a winner.

The decision to sign with a Sydney club will also help a burgeoning media career after he has impressed in commentary stints with Fox Sports.

It is also welcome news for Cronulla, who have lurched from one crisis to another since the so-called ''darkest day in Australian sport''. The Sharks have been hit, directly or indirectly, to the tune of about $4 million since the drugs in sport saga surfaced.

It is expected that 17 Cronulla players from the 2011 squad, five of them who remain at the club, will be served with show-cause notices from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority in the near future.

Languishing on the bottom of the ladder alongside Newcastle, the Sharks host Manly on Saturday.

10 comments so far

  • With both Gallen and Ennis we now have two of the most despised players in the NRL which will no doubt drive opposing fans crazy. Welcome aboard Mick!

    Jervis Bay
    Date and time
    June 18, 2014, 7:58AM
    • Ennis,in his 33rd year is way past his prime....hence the Dogs decision to let him go..

      But why on earth would he sign with the cellar dwelling Cronulla...the team that has not won the comp in 47 years

      But considering that Ennis is one the NRL's worst divers,there is a certain synergy with him becoming a Shark

      Big Jack
      Cloud Nine
      Date and time
      June 18, 2014, 8:01AM
      • Funny how the sharks can compete with anyone in player payments but then complain about spending $4m to protect those same players from ASADA

        Date and time
        June 18, 2014, 8:17AM
        • So Cronulla continue paying overs for players in the twlight of their careers - exactly how many games has Luke Lewis palyed since coming from Penrith ? It could be a very lonely place at Cronulla next year if the ASADA investigation unfolds in a badway for Cronulla - good luck to Ennis - enjoy the cash if thats what is important to you .

          Hunter Valley
          Date and time
          June 18, 2014, 11:24AM
          • Newspapers have continually said show cause notices will be issued in the near future since April, 2013. Still nothing.

            Date and time
            June 18, 2014, 12:02PM
            • Seems fitting that a mediocre and frankly overrated player will finish his career with a mediocre team.

              Date and time
              June 18, 2014, 1:12PM
              • "It is also welcome news for Cronulla". hhhhhmmmm, as a long time sharks fan, I can't agree. Wish they would stop buying busted oldies. Look at our injury list this year!

                Date and time
                June 18, 2014, 1:20PM
                • Will be sorry to see him leave the blue & white. A tremendous competitor, his speed and creativity has diminished but he's defense is still quality. Look forward to seeing him in media roles as his playing days wrap up.

                  Date and time
                  June 18, 2014, 3:48PM
                  • So the big whinger moves to the sharks, are their forwards big enough for him to hide behind?

                    Date and time
                    June 18, 2014, 4:40PM
                    • M.Ennis may well be the next crisis for the Sharks; paying over the top for a player winding down his career would be a really smart move if he was leading the reserve grade players who might learn plenty from him, but taking a 1st grade possie in the expectation of creating a winning team? . . . . . I think not.

                      Mt Colah
                      Date and time
                      June 18, 2014, 4:55PM

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