THE Cronulla Sharks will play Josh Dugan at fullback against his old club St George Illawarra with Valentine Holmes to be shifted to the wing in tomorrow night’s local derby.
But Sharks coach Shane Flanagan has made the unexpected claim that the pair will in fact share the number one duties, saying on Wednesday: “I think it’ll work well and we did it in the trials so it’s nothing new.”
After a tough night under the high ball in the Sharks’ Round 1 loss to North Queensland, the Cronulla coach has made the decision to “let the pressure off” Holmes
Cronulla are also looking to replace injured rookie right winger Sione Katoa, who suffered a broken jaw against the Cowboys.
The new-look Sharks backline will see Dugan, who scored 28 tries in 84 games in a five-year tenure at the Red V, return to fullback with Aaron Gray to play right centre and Holmes to revert to the wing.
Holmes has played 24 matches at fullback for the Sharks over the course of the last three seasons with the Sharks winning 15 matches and losing nine.
But after being targeted against the Cowboys in round one, the calls have become increasingly louder for Holmes to be shifted to the wing.
Fox League’s Matty Johns labelled Holmes “the world’s best winger” after a record-breaking World Cup for the Kangaroos last year.
The Sharks are flush with options, with one-time NSW Origin fullback Dugan to start there in the local derby while Matt Moylan is also an additional alternative.
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Speaking on Sunday Night with Matty Johns on Fox League, Mitchell Pearce suggested Moylan could be the Sharks best option in the longer term.
Dugan is a devastating ball runner who will be out to make a huge impression against his former club the Dragons.