Sharks skipper Paul Gallen will extend his NRL career with the Cronulla Sharks into a 18th season after signing a one-year contract extension at Sharks Leagues Club today.

Gallen put pen to paper on the new deal in the company of Sharks Group CEO Lyall Gorman and his manager David Riolo, a contract which will see him remain at the helm of the Cronulla club in 2017.

The signing has ended months of speculation with Gallen pleased to now be able to fully concentrate on Friday night and the Sharks clash with the Cowboys.

Gallen signed his first contract with the Sharks as a teenager back in 1999, debuting in the NRL with the club in 2001. Since that time he has played 277 first grade games, all with the Cronulla club, while also representing the Kangaroos and captaining NSW.

In a brief Sharks TV interview announcing the contract extension, Gallen went on to allay any fears Sharks fans may have had over his fitness, declaring himself a certain starter on Friday night after recovering from the back injury that saw him miss his teams previous finals match against the Raiders.