A former 300-game NRL player, Morris will now guide the Sharks into 2019 and beyond after signing a three-year deal.

Sharks CEO Barry Russell was a strong advocate for Morris, having been highly impressed with his ability, attitude and work ethic since taking the reins as Interim NRL coach on January 3.

“John is very deserving of this opportunity and I’m thrilled for him,” Russell said. “He was instrumental in setting up our successful Elite Academy and junior pathways and has been a big part of our club, from his playing days to now coaching, for going on 10 years."

Former coach Flanagan was not even mentioned in the official club statement announcing Morris's appointment.