Shaun Johnson, Josh Dugan and Aaron Woods no longer required at Cronulla

The Cronulla Sharks are set to free up more than $2 million of salary cap space after telling former NSW stars Josh Dugan and Aaron Woods as well as New Zealand rep half Shaun Johnson they are free to find new clubs.

It comes after the Sharks signed Nicho Hynes on Tuesday on a reported $1.8m three-year deal to play in the halves.

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The Sharks had already locked up fullback Will Kennedy as well as forward Toby Rudolf for new contract.

It meant that either Johnson or Matt Moylan would be left on the outer at the club, with a showdown between the pair.

But there was an early answer about the winner with the news Johnson would be moved on from the club.

He has been strongly linked to a move to the Canberra Raiders to replace George Williams, following his ugly divorce from the club.

The Daily Telegraph even reported that the Sharks would consider and early release for the axed trio if they could find new clubs in the next few weeks.

The report also said they told their teammates of the developments on Thursday.

Nicho Hynes’ signature sparked the sackings.Source:Getty Images

It comes as rookie coach Craig Fitzgibbon is already making waves before joining the club.

Moylan is reportedly set for a one-year contract extension on a reduced salary after an injury prone career at the club.

The NRL reported that Johnson was tabled a one-year deal worth half of his current $800,000 a season salary.

Last week, Johnson seemed resigned to moving on from the club.

“I haven’t got anything set in stone on where I’m going to be next year at this point,” he said.

“It hasn’t been a worry of mine. I’ve just been focused on stringing games together.

“Everything is an option.

“All options are open and all I can control is getting back out on the park.”

The report added that Moylan wasn’t yet locked in either and the club could attempt to sign another playmaker to partner Hynes next season.

21-year-old back up playmaker Brayden Trindall is reportedly a priority signature for the club.

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