NRL News

Graham backs Morris for Sharks' No.1 role

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Josh Morris hasn't started an NRL game at fullback in seven years but Cronulla skipper Wade Graham believes the veteran can be a success at No.1 as the Sharks deal with an injury crisis.

Coach John Morris all but conceded Morris would start the season in the unfamiliar fullback spot because of injuries to Josh Dugan and Matt Moylan.

The revelation comes after the club denied Morris's request to join twin brother Brett at the Sydney Roosters to fill their vacant centre spot.

It also comes as questions continue to surround the short and long-term future of Dugan, who has struggled with a knee injury during the pre-season.

Moylan remains in a persistent battle with a re-occurring hamstring issue that plagued most of his 2019 campaign.

It has left Josh Morris with the enormous task of taking on a jumper he hasn't worn since the final game of the regular season with Canterbury in 2013.

Graham on Tuesday backed the 33-year-old to do the job, declaring the him among the squad's best trainers over the summer.

"I think he'll be fine. To be honest, he's been one of our best trainers. Him and Aaron Woods," Graham told the Big Sports Breakfast.

With the retirement of Paul Gallen, as well as the extended break for England prop Graham and star New Zealand half Shaun Johnson, the squad is in desperate need of pre-season leadership.

Experienced campaigners Matt Prior and Jayden Brailey are also gone.

"Seeing the guys, the amount of work they've done over pre-season. They started pretty early... they've really been the leaders," Graham said.

"Myself, Shaun Johnson have been in and out because of rep duties or holidays.

"Those guys have been the constant."

Graham said it was important that with the Josh Morris drama seemingly over, the players knuckle down with their preparations for the upcoming season.

"Obviously there was a bit of interest there, Josh Morris sounded out an opportunity to go across but now that it's been denied," he said.

"I think we just get on with business."

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