Thursday wrap - Barrett, Gibbs, Packer, Matulino

The Trent Barrett saga finally came to end today with the former Australian five-eighth agreeing to a two year deal with the Cronulla Sharks.

The 30-year-old will join the Sharks for the 2009 season.

After 11 seasons and 199 games in the NRL, Barrett was granted a release by the St George Illawarra Dragons to join English club Wigan Warriors in 2007. He was Wigan's leading tryscorer in his first year and to date has made 47 appearances in the Super League.

Wigan agreed to release Barrett after he expressed a desire to return home for the upcoming addition to his family.

Barrett, who has represented Australia 11 times and made seven State of Origin appearances for New South Wales, was much sought after when news broke that he was returning home.

Negotiations began with several clubs including the Canberra Raiders and the Dragons.

The deal is reported to be worth $600,000 per year and includes a third party sponsorship deal with broadcaster Channel Nine.

In other news, an infected knee gash has ruled out Wests Tigers prop forward Bryce Gibbs ruled out for the upcoming clash with the North Queensland Cowboys.

The initial injury occurred during the Wests Tigers v Roosters clash in round 12 and is expected to sideline Gibbs for 3-5 weeks.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Warriors have re-signed rookie forwards, prop Russell Packer and second rower Ben Matulino.

Packer, 18, has signed a four-year deal commencing in 2009, while Matulino will remain at the club until the end of 2010.

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