AAP Rugby

Woods in NRL mid-season move to Cronulla

By AAP Newswire

On Tuesday morning Aaron Woods trained with Canterbury.

On Tuesday afternoon he trained with Cronulla.

And after a mid-season switch following a rollercoaster few months, the representative prop is just hoping this latest move will finally provide the stability he needs to rejuvenate his NRL career.

After weeks of negotiations and an impasse over fees, the salary cap-squeezed Bulldogs released Woods to sign a three-and-a-half-year contract with the Sharks four days before the June 30 deadline.

Just like that the deal was done and the 27-year-old was named in Cronulla's 21-man squad to take on the Warriors this Friday night in Auckland, where he'll likely come on off the bench.

"Long day," Woods said.

"I was training this morning with the other boys and now with the new boys.

"This has happened all last minute. Obviously there was dealings behind the scenes but I only found out this morning after training with the Bulldogs boys.

"That's rugby league isn't it ... rugby league is like a rollercoaster journey."

Woods would know.

The former NSW and Australia front-rower saw out barely eight months of his four-year contract with the Bulldogs after joining from the Wests Tigers.

During that period Dean Pay's side endured a miserable start to the season while Woods copped personal criticism over his form and was overlooked for Brad Fittler's series-winning NSW State of Origin team, all while being linked to several other clubs.

He admits it affected his performances.

"You can say you don't think about it that much but everyone is always asking you questions and you get over it a bit," he said.

"When it's about you it's hard and you hear things people are saying about you with your contract that you don't even know is happening.

"Once I went through all of it last year I thought it was over.

"I can't thank Cronulla enough for getting me here. I'm a Cronulla player now and I'm really happy to be here."

Part of the attraction, he said, is coach Shane Flanagan's vision for the future.

Likewise the recruitment of Woods, who has reportedly taken a pay cut, is a coup for the Sharks as they eye the finals.

"Aaron is a quality player and I am confident he can add something to our team this year and into the future," Flanagan said.

"I also believe our club can help Aaron get back to the previous form which had him playing for NSW and Australia."

While a loss for Canterbury, it will further ease pressure on the salary cap-laden Bulldogs who've also released Moses Mbye to the Wests Tigers.