A standout with the Newtown Jets this season in their climb into first position on the KOE NSW Cup ladder, young outside back Cook Islander Kayal Iro has signed a new contract with the Sharks, one that ties him to the Cronulla Club through until the end of the 2024 season.
Iro, who played for the Cook Islands against Samoa in the recent Pacific Test match, has been promoted into the Sharks top 30 for the remainder of the 2022 season and then becomes a member of the full-time NRL squad for the two years to follow.
aggressive ball runner and strong defender, Iro was pleased to have secured his
immediate playing future and was looking forward to what the next few seasons
very happy and stoked to be here for the next couple of years,” Iro said. “I’m
pleased to get it done so now I can focus on my next job and to hopefully get a
run (in the NRL) under Fitzy.”
In congratulating Iro, Cook Islands Rugby League
president Charles Carlson said: “This is very good news for us seeing these
young players come through the NRL system. Kayal has already got three
international tests under his belt plus World Cup Nines and no doubt helped
attract interest from NRL.”
“A fantastic role model for our local players starting
his career as a six-year-old for the Arorangi Bears and being the smallest
player on the field. Look at him now signed up for the Sharks.”
seeing limited game time in Jersey Flegg and NSW Cup competitions over the past
few years due to the Covid disruptions, the 2022 season has seen the
22-year-old Iro amongst the leading players for a Newtown team sitting in first
place on the points table.
16 matches for the Jets so far this year he has scored 11 tries, while Iro also
features in a number of other statistical categories, where he is first in run
metres for the entire competition, almost 200 metres clear of the second-placed
player, and fourth for line breaks.
an impressive pedigree, as the son of Kiwi international Kevin, Iro has already
tasted international rugby league in representing the Cook Islands a month or
so ago, in what was a proud moment for him and his family.
a proud Cook Islander, it was a real emotional week. My father and my brother
came over, it was the first time I’d seen them in two years,” he said. “I grew
up in the Cook Islands, Rarotonga. My dad was a big name, so hopefully I can follow
in his footsteps and make him proud.”
joins he likes of fellow young guns in Jesse Colquhoun and Tom Hazelton, in
addition to the likes of Matt Moylan, Jack Williams and Braden Hamlin-Uele, to
have recently signed contract extensions as the Sharks build a roster for next
season and beyond.