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Sharks win race to Nicho Hynes signature

The Sharks have signed rising Melbourne Storm star Nicho Hynes to a three-year deal.

The 24-year-old fullback, who has starred for Melbourne in the absence of the injured Ryan Papenhuzen in recent weeks, will join Cronulla at the end of the year on a deal running through to the 2024 season.

"I love the Melbourne Storm and deciding to leave was one of the toughest decisions I've had to make in my life," Hynes said.

"Storm has made me who I am not only on the field but off the field as well. All the coaches and players have not only been great supporters of my rugby league career, but also the journey I'm on in my life."

Hynes was a transfer target for a few clubs in recent weeks, and is set to play at five-eighth for the Sharks under new coach Craig Fitzgibbon next season.

Hynes has played 22 NRL matches since his debut in 2019, with three tries, 12 try assists and 16 line-break assists in 10 games this season.

The Storm said they were unable to match Cronulla's offer or the promise of a starting spot.

Scheming Smith puts Hynes over

"Nicho came to us on a train and trial contract from the Sunshine Coast Falcons with nothing guaranteed after that and ended up as a NRL premiership player with plenty more great football in front of him," Storm football manager Frank Ponissi said.

"He has worked hard and has got the rewards. We would have loved to have been in a position to extend Nicho's time with Storm, but unfortunately, with his desire for a regular starting spot and the pressures of the salary cap, that hasn't been possible.

"Nicho is an outstanding footballer, but just as importantly is an outstanding young man who is loved and respected by everyone at Storm.

"We will continue to follow his career and wish him all the best for beyond this season.

"In the meantime, he will remain an important member of our 2021 squad as we push into the second half of the year."