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Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks – Rugby League Club Team

Locker room with blue sports jerseys on hangers and wooden lockers.

Are you keen to dive into the thrilling world of rugby league with a team that embodies passion and resilience? Founded in 1963, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have carved their name deep into the heart of Australian sports.

Our blog delivers an exhilarating journey through the Sharks’ rich history, iconic players, notable achievements, and electrifying future prospects. Get ready for a wave of excitement – let’s explore the pride of Southern Sydney!

Key Takeaways

  • The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, initially known as Cronulla-Caringbah, were founded in 1963 and made their NSWRL competition debut in 1967.
  • Despite a challenging supplements scandal in 2011, the Sharks secured their first NRL Premiership victory in 2016 followed by a World Club Challenge win in 2017.
  • The club boasts numerous representative players and captains with significant contributions on both state and national levels.
  • Their rivalry with Manly – Warringah Sea Eagles, St. George Illawarra Dragons, and Melbourne Storm sets the stage for some of the most electrifying matches in rugby league.
  • With ambitious plans for upgrading to a new stadium and embracing growth with their women’s team established in 2018, the Sharks are committed to advancing their legacy within Australian rugby league.

The History of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Established in 1963 as Cronulla-Caringbah, the team entered the NSWRL competition in 1967. Despite a supplements scandal in 2011, the Sharks went on to win their first Premiership in 2016 and a World Club Challenge in 2017.

Establishment in 1963 as Cronulla-Caringbah

The foundation of the Cronulla rugby league club marked an important moment in local sports. In 1963, under the name Cronulla-Caringbah, they began shaping what would become a legacy in the Sutherland Shire.

The team emerged from humble beginnings to take on other New South Wales teams in thrilling inter-district competitions.

Embracing their community roots, Cronulla Caringbah laid down solid groundwork for future growth and success. Their participation helped kickstart the Cronulla Sutherland Junior League, fostering young talent and enthusiasm for rugby league throughout the region.

Fans rallied behind them early on, setting the stage for a club deeply connected with its supporters and locale.

Entry into the NSWRL competition in 1967

Established as Cronulla-Caringbah in 1963, the team ventured into the NSWRL competition in 1967, marking a significant milestone for the club. This move saw them transition from local inter-district competitions to competing on a larger stage within the National Rugby League (NRL).

Representing the Cronulla and Sutherland Shire region of Southern Sydney, New South Wales, their entry into this elite rugby league competition solidified their position as an established professional sports team with ambitions to compete at a higher level.

With strong foundations in local rugby league development and a dedicated fan base, their participation signalled an exciting new chapter for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

Supplements scandal in 2011

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks endured a major setback in 2011 due to a supplements scandal. This controversy led to significant consequences for the club and its players, impacting their performance and reputation.

As a result, it became a challenging period for both the team and its dedicated fan base.

The investigation into the supplements scandal created turmoil within the club and raised concerns among supporters. The repercussions of this incident reverberated throughout the NRL community, leaving a lasting impact on the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks’ history.

First Premiership in 2016

After weathering the storm of the supplements scandal in 2011, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks achieved a historic milestone by winning their first NRL Telstra Premiership in 2016. This victory marked a significant moment for the club and its dedicated fan base.

Led by an exceptional group of players and coaches, the Sharks displayed resilience, determination, and skill throughout the season, culminating in a memorable triumph that will forever be etched in the history of this esteemed rugby league team.

The journey to claiming their inaugural premiership title was filled with challenges and hard-fought battles on the field. The team’s unwavering commitment and unified effort ultimately led to an unforgettable victory that brought immense pride to both players and supporters alike.

World Club Challenge win in 2017

Following their historic First Premiership win in 2016, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks secured another significant achievement by winning the World Club Challenge in 2017. This victory marked a major milestone for the team and solidified their status as a force to be reckoned with in the rugby league world.

The Sharks’ remarkable performance in this prestigious competition further showcased their talent and determination on an international stage.

The World Club Challenge win in 2017 elevated the profile of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, garnering recognition and respect from fans and competitors alike. With this triumph, they demonstrated their ability to compete at the highest level and make a mark on the global rugby league scene.

Key Players and Coaches

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have a strong team roster for the 2024 season, with key players and coaches leading the way. The club boasts a number of representative players and experienced coaching staff to guide them to success in the NRL National Rugby League and Canterbury Cup NSW competitions.

2024 squad

  1. Jake Trbojevic – Known for his strong work ethic and leadership skills, he is a force to be reckoned with in the forward pack.
  2. Shaun Johnson – With his exceptional playmaking abilities, he brings creativity and flair to the team’s attacking game.
  3. Chad Townsend – An astute decision-maker, his composure under pressure makes him a vital asset in directing the team around the field.
  4. Briton Nikora – A dynamic second-rower, he showcases formidable speed and agility in both defence and attack.
  5. Will Kennedy – As a versatile backline player, he possesses blistering pace and elusive footwork, proving to be a potent attacking weapon.
  6. Billy Magoulias – Emerging as a promising young talent, his tireless work rate and tenacity make him a player to watch for the future.
  7. Teig Wilton – With his size and athleticism, he has rapidly established himself as a formidable presence in the forward pack.
  8. Luke Metcalf – As an exciting prospect at halfback or fullback, his electrifying speed and evasive running style add an unpredictable dimension to the team’s attack.
  9. Sione Katoa – A prolific try-scorer with exceptional finishing abilities, he consistently troubles opposition defences with his speed and agility.
  10. Aaron Woods – Bringing vast experience and leadership qualities to the squad, he is instrumental in providing stability to the team’s forward pack.

Select team and coaches

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have a well-rounded squad for the 2024 season, including a mix of experienced players and promising young talents.

  1. The team is led by head coach John Morris, who has been instrumental in developing the players and implementing strategic game plans.
  2. Co – captains Wade Graham and Shaun Johnson bring leadership and experience to the squad, providing invaluable guidance on and off the field.
  3. Exciting playmakers such as Matt Moylan and Chad Townsend add creativity and flair to the team’s attacking prowess, making them formidable opponents for any opposition.
  4. Up-and-coming stars like Blayke Brailey and Briton Nikora inject energy and enthusiasm into the team, showcasing the bright future of the Sharks.
  5. Assistant coaches are crucial in supporting the head coach, with notable mentors like Craig Sandercock contributing their expertise in specific areas of the game to enhance player performance.
  6. The selection process ensures that each player complements the team’s overall strategy, creating a cohesive unit that can compete at the highest level.
  7. With strong coaching staff and a talented lineup, the Cronulla – Sutherland Sharks are poised for an exciting season ahead as they aim to achieve success on the rugby league field.

Representative players

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have had several players represent their club on the international stage. These players have showcased their skills and talent at the highest level of rugby league. Some of the notable representative players include:

  1. Andrew Ettingshausen – Represented Australia 27 times and New South Wales in State of Origin.
  2. Paul Gallen – A former captain, represented Australia and New South Wales over multiple seasons.
  3. Mat Rogers – Played for both Australia and Queensland in State of Origin.
  4. Wade Graham – Currently representing New South Wales in State of Origin.
  5. Aaron Woods – Represented Australia and has played for New South Wales in State of Origin.
  6. Ben Barba – Also represented his country and Queensland in State of Origin.
  7. Luke Lewis – Represented both Australia and New South Wales in State of Origin matches.
  8. Valentine Holmes – Another player who represented his country, playing for Australia at an international level.

Club captains

Representative players are instrumental in driving the team forward, and club captains play a pivotal role in leading them on and off the field. The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have had some exceptional individuals step into the role of captain over the years. Here are the influential leaders who have captained the Sharks:

  1. Monty Porter: Known for his toughness and commitment to the team, Monty Porter led by example during his time as club captain.
  2. Gavin Miller: A beloved figure among fans, Gavin Miller’s leadership skills and passion for the game made him an influential captain.
  3. Paul Green: His strategic thinking and ability to motivate teammates made Paul Green a respected leader during his tenure as club captain.
  4. David Peachey: A dynamic and skilled player, David Peachey’s positive attitude and strong work ethic made him an inspiring captain.
  5. Trent Barrett: With his exceptional playmaking abilities and decision-making skills, Trent Barrett brought a new level of competitiveness to the role of club captain.
  6. Paul Gallen: Renowned for his unwavering dedication and fierce determination, Paul Gallen’s leadership as club captain left an indelible mark on the team.
  7. Wade Graham: As a versatile player with exceptional game knowledge, Wade Graham’s leadership qualities have seen him guide the team through both triumphs and challenges.
  8. Matt Moylan: Known for his calm demeanor and ability to lead under pressure, Matt Moylan continues to inspire his teammates as club captain.

Honors and Awards

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have achieved numerous prestigious awards and honors in their history, showcasing the talent and dedication of the players and coaching staff. Read on to discover more about their impressive list of accolades.

Dally M Medal

The Dally M Medal, awarded by the National Rugby League (NRL), recognises the best and fairest player of the season. This prestigious award is named after Herbert “Dally” Messenger, one of Australia’s greatest rugby league players.

The voting process involves referees rating each player on a 3-2-1 basis after every game, with the winner announced at a gala event towards the end of the season. As a highly coveted accolade in Australian rugby league, winning the Dally M Medal represents exceptional skill and sportsmanship.

Established as Cronulla-Caringbah in 1963 before rebranding as Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in 1967, this team has seen its fair share of talent over more than half a century. With hopes high among fans and players alike during each new season, excitement always surrounds who might be nominated for this prestigious award.

Rothmans Medal

The Rothmans Medal is a prestigious award given to the best and fairest player in the National Rugby League (NRL) at the end of each season. It was first introduced in 1968 and has since become one of the most respected individual accolades in Australian rugby league.

The recipient is determined by votes cast by referees after every regular-season game, with three points awarded for the best player, two for the second-best, and one for the third.

This award recognises players who consistently demonstrate exceptional skill and sportsmanship on the field throughout the year.

Porter Gallen Medal (Club Player of the Year)

After the excitement of the Rothmans Medal, another significant accolade within the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks is the Porter Gallen Medal. Awarded to the Club Player of the Year, this prestigious honour recognises outstanding performance and contribution to the team throughout each season.

The recipient of this award exemplifies exceptional skill, leadership, and dedication on and off the field.

The Porter Gallen Medal holds great importance in acknowledging players who consistently demonstrate commitment and sportsmanship while representing the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

Clive Churchill Medal

The Clive Churchill Medal is awarded annually to the best player in the National Rugby League (NRL) Grand Final, regardless of which team wins. It’s named after Clive Churchill, one of Australia’s greatest rugby league players who achieved numerous accolades during his career.

The recipient is selected by a panel of experts and former players based on their outstanding performance in the grand final match. Notably, this prestigious award holds immense significance for both players and fans as it recognises exceptional talent and contribution to the game at its highest level.

Established by the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC), the Clive Churchill Medal has become an integral part of NRL history since its inception in 1986. This acknowledgement serves as a testament to individual excellence and sportsmanship on one of rugby league’s most esteemed stages, making it a coveted achievement for all aspiring NRL athletes.

Coaches register

The Clive Churchill Medal is awarded for the best player in the NRL Grand Final. Shifting our focus to the coaching staff, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have had a distinguished list of coaches who have contributed to the team’s success over the years:

  1. Arthur Beetson: The legendary forward served as head coach from 1986-1988 and left a lasting impact on the team’s playing style and tactics.
  2. John Lang: Lang took charge of the team during two different stints (2004-2010 and 2011-2014), guiding them to multiple finals appearances.
  3. Shane Flanagan: A pivotal figure in the club’s history, Flanagan led the Sharks to their maiden Premiership in 2016 and managed the team from 2010-2018.
  4. John Morris: As head coach from 2019-2020, Morris steered the team through challenging times with determination and resilience.
  5. Craig Fitzgibbon: With his wealth of experience as an assistant coach at Sydney Roosters, Fitzgibbon is set to take on his first head coaching role at Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in 2022.

Rivalries and Supporters

The Sharks have heated rivalries with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, St. George Illawarra Dragons, and Melbourne Storm, along with a dedicated fan base. Read more for an in-depth look at their passionate supporters and intense matchups.

Rivalries with Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, St. George Illawarra Dragons, and Melbourne Storm

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have fierce rivalries with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, St. George Illawarra Dragons, and Melbourne Storm. These intense rivalries have fueled memorable clashes over the years.

  1. The rivalry with the Manly – Warringah Sea Eagles is a significant one in the NRL. It has been fueled by close matches and heated encounters, creating an intense competition between the two teams.
  2. The rivalry with the St. George Illawarra Dragons is rooted in their geographical proximity, as both teams represent areas in Southern Sydney and compete fiercely for local pride.
  3. The rivalry with the Melbourne Storm stems from competitive matches in crucial stages of the NRL season. Both teams have contested high-stakes games, leading to a strong rivalry between them.

Dedicated fan base

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks boast an unwavering and loyal fan base, which has been a cornerstone of the club’s success. These dedicated supporters show up in force at every game, displaying their passion for the team through enthusiastic chants and unwavering loyalty.

The club’s strong presence in the local community has fostered a deep connection with its fans, further solidifying their commitment to the team. This steadfast support from the fan base provides invaluable motivation for the players and staff while creating an electrifying atmosphere on match days.

The passionate fans of Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks contribute significantly to the vibrant energy that surrounds each game. Their enthusiasm and allegiance have undoubtedly played a pivotal role in shaping the identity of this esteemed rugby league club, making them an integral part of its enduring legacy in Southern Sydney, New South Wales.

Future of the Sharks

Plans for a new stadium and the establishment of a women’s team are shaping the future of the Sharks. Find out more about their exciting developments by reading on.

Plans for new stadium

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks are in the process of developing plans for a new stadium, aiming to provide an enhanced experience for both players and fans. The National Rugby League (NRL) club is working towards a modern facility that will offer state-of-the-art amenities, improved seating arrangements, and cutting-edge technology.

This development aligns with the club’s commitment to creating a premier sporting destination within the Southern Sydney region.

Leveraging its strong presence in the local community, this initiative reflects the Sharks’ dedication to cultivating a vibrant and inclusive environment for rugby league enthusiasts.

Women’s team

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks established their women’s team in 2018. Comprising talented athletes, the team competes in the NSWRL Women’s Premiership. The women’s team represents a crucial step forward for the club and has been an enthusiastic addition to the Sharks’ rugby league community.

Embracing the dedication and spirit of their male counterparts, they have worked diligently to carve out their own legacy within the sport.

In 2022, the Sharks’ women’s team secured a notable victory by reaching the Grand Final. Their impressive performance showcased their growing influence within Australian rugby league and highlighted their potential for future success on both regional and national platforms.


In conclusion, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have a rich history dating back to 1963 when they were established as Cronulla-Caringbah. They have experienced both victories and challenges throughout their journey in the National Rugby League (NRL).

The team’s future looks promising with plans for a new stadium and the addition of a women’s team. As the Sharks continue to evolve, they remain a beloved and influential force in Australian rugby league.


1. Who are the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks?

The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks are a professional rugby league club team that competes in the National Rugby League (NRL).

2. What is the NRL?

NRL stands for National Rugby League, which is a major league where various club teams, including the Sharks, play at high competition levels.

3. Have the Sharks won any NRL competitions?

Yes, the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks have been successful in winning an NRL premiership, showcasing their skills and teamwork at national levels.

4. When do the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks play their games?

The Sharks’ schedule matches throughout the NRL season and they compete regularly against other teams in exciting interdistrict competitions.

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