Sharks set to lock up Holmes and Bird
Photo Source: AAP
Cronulla want to make young guns Valentine Holmes and Jack Bird one-club players on the back of the Sharks' historic NRL premiership win.
The Sharks have the bulk of their 25-man roster coming off contract at the end of 2017 with Holmes and Bird leading a list of 16 players whose deals are set to expire.
Rival clubs will be able to begin negotiating with Bird and Holmes on November 1 this year however coach Shane Flanagan said he hoped to have them signed and sealed before pre-season training begins in December.
"Birdy and Val will be done in the off-season," Flanagan said.
"They're not a problem. They're both committed to the club, they're not going anywhere so I don't see an issue with that especially on the back of this (grand final win)."
With Michael Ennis having hung up his boots after Sunday's win over Melbourne, Paul Gallen set to retire next year and the careers of Luke Lewis and Chris Heighington winding down, Bird and Holmes are seen as the future of the club.
Bird, 21, this year earned his first NSW State of Origin jersey and is in the frame to have his name read out when Mal Meninga announces his Australian side for the Four Nations on Tuesday.
Holmes was a standout in the grand final, coming up with some important carries to get his side out of trouble, making 165m from 16 touches.
"They're key players for us," Flanagan said of Bird and Holmes.
"They both love the club, hopefully they'll be one-club players. I know Birdy has been somewhere else (St George Illawarra), but hopefully they'll be one-club players in the first grade-sense."
* Cronulla players off-contract at the end of 2017
Ben Barbra, Gerard Beale, Jack Bird, Jayden Brailey, Nu Brown, Kurt Capewell, Manaia Cherrington, Sosaia Feki, Paul Gallen, Wade Graham, Valentine Holmes, Ricky Leutele, Joseph Paulo, Matt Prior, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Chad Townsend.