Craig Fitzgibbon to coach Cronulla from 2022

Drew Darbyshire

Craig Fitzgibbon has agreed to become head coach of Cronulla Sharks on a three-year deal from the 2022 season.

Following the announcement of Fitzgibbon’s appointment, the Sharks say current coach John Morris has left the club with immediate effect.

Current assistant coach Josh Hannay will take over the head coaching role on an interim basis for the remainder of this season.

Sharks chief executive Dino Mezzatesta said: “This decision was certainly not lightly taken, much discussion and consideration took place at board and management level before Craig was approached and now appointed, and we are thrilled he has accepted the position.

“Craig has served a long and successful apprenticeship under Trent Robinson at the Roosters and alongside Brad Fittler at a state level and we are confident he can emulate that success as a head coach here at the Sharks.

“However, in announcing the appointment, we need to acknowledge the contribution John Morris has made at the Cronulla club as a player, development and 20’s coach, NRL assistant, and as our head coach in 2019-2020 and to this point in our 2021 season.

“As coach John has brought through a number of promising youngsters to where they are now performing at an NRL level, his work ethic can’t be questioned and there is little doubt he has a bright future as a coach in the NRL. We certainly wish him future success.

“The decision made by the club was an extremely difficult one however we now back the appointment of Craig, look forward to the future and to him taking the team to the next level in delivering success in 2022 and beyond.”

Fitzgibbon made more than 300 career appearances during his playing career – including 19 tests for Australia and 11 appearances for New South Wales in State of Origin.