Hodkinson set for Sharks switch

05 February 2018 07:12:45 EST

Cronulla Sharks are set to sign former NSW State of Origin halfback Trent Hodkinson after he was released by Newcastle.

After two seasons on the Hunter, the 29-year-old was granted a release over the weekend. He'd played 40 games and scored 196 points for the Knights, taking his overall NRL tally to 632 points from 156 appearances.

The Sharks are set to become his fourth NRL club, with coach Shane Flanagan looking to have seen off competition from Manly.

The Sea Eagles had been interested in Hodkinson since they missed out on signing the disgruntled Sydney Roosters playmaker Mitchell Pearce.

With Pearce agreeing to terms instead with Newcastle, it led Hodkinson to look elsewhere while young Knights half Jack Cogger announced last week he would be leaving for Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on a two-year deal at the end of this season.

Newcastle football manager Darren Mooney released a statement on Sunday night to announce Hodkinson's departure.

"Trent has been an excellent role model for our young players," he said. "He is a well-respected teammate and contributed immensely to our community program.

"We understand Trent's decision to leave the club and we wish him and wife Chantelle all the best for the future."

Hodkinson started his career in the youth system at Parramatta before signing a deal with Manly starting in 2009. He made his NRL debut the following year for the Sea Eagles, being selected for NSW City in his first season in the competition.

During his five-year spell at the Bulldogs he played six State of Origin games for NSW, scoring a try and racking up 28 points.

Cronulla are 12/1 to win the grand final and 8/13 to finish in the top eight.

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