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Sharks prop Aiden Tolman.

After rejuvenating the twilight of his career by switching to the Sharks, prop Aiden Tolman wants to play again next season while fullback Will Kennedy is close to re-signing after also speaking to incoming coach Craig Fitzgibbon.

Tolman, 32, joined from Canterbury on a one-year deal for 2021 while Kennedy, one of the Telstra Premiership's most-improved players, is deep in extension talks with the Sharks.

Both men have spoken to Fitzgibbon, who will take over from interim boss Josh Hannay in 2022.

Fitzgibbon's retention drive is underway with impressive utility Connor Tracey locked down for three more years on Wednesday.

"I'd love to play on. If I play good enough, I'm sure all that stuff rolls off the back of it," Tolman told NRL.com.

"There are a lot of guys off-contract here, we've obviously signed a coach now so the club knows where they are moving forward.

"I've really enjoyed my time here. Of course, I'd love to stay at this club. The boys are really good. I'm settled here now.

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"I'm really enjoying the style of footy they're playing and obviously bringing in Fitzgibbon, who's renowned for being an up-and-coming, really good coach, I'd be excited to continue playing here.

"The body's feeling good, mentally feeling good and I still feel like I'm doing a job on the weekend. If those three boxes are ticked, I suppose it's up to everybody else to think if they want me in their team."

Tolman, who is averaging 114 metres and 32 tackles per match this season, wouldn't rule out a Super League stint but said "with COVID going on, it's very hard to say I want to go to England".

He added that Fitzgibbon had called "the majority of players". 

"I was lucky enough to be with Fitzy in a couple of Country camps. I know him from that," the 282-gamer said.

"But I'm not too concerned about him trying to contact me, I'm more focused on winning games as a footy team.

"If this is going to be my last season, I don't want to be worrying about what's going to happen next year. "

Kennedy, who came through Cronulla's junior pathways system after moving from Bathurst as a teenager, is content at the Sharks.

"I love the club, I grew up around here when I was 16. I love Cronulla and it's a good place," the 24-year-old said.

"I've spoken to [Fitzgibbon]. He just introduced himself, that was mainly it. He sounds like a good bloke.

"I'm just waiting to see how my management goes [with getting a deal done] ... I'm just playing footy at the moment."

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Leading into round nine, Kennedy is ranked fourth among fullbacks for tries scored (six) and has produced four try assists.

He credits his progression to "time in the game", having made his NRL debut in 2019, and working with experienced Sharks playmakers Chad Townsend, Shaun Johnson and Matt Moylan.

"My tempo running and all that, the halves help me out with that. They do very well in that part," Kennedy said.

"I think that helps with my ball-playing."

And he studies rival No.1s in a bid to add strings to his bow.

"[James] Tedesco is one of them - he's one of the star fullbacks. I watch his game very closely," Kennedy said.

"The way he's involved and his energy around the ball is pretty good."

 

NRL Magic Round Brisbane 1-Day & 3-Day Passes are now on sale with eight massive games across round 10 at Suncorp Stadium this May. With the league's best players all heading to Brisbane, you'd hate to miss it! Tickets at NRL.com/Tickets.