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20 Jan 2018 18:02
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    NRL's Sharks cautious on Graham and Bird

    Cronulla will only risk injured pair Wade Graham and Jack Bird against Newcastle on Sunday if they have a chance of breaking into the NRL top four.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Cronulla will wait to see if they can break into the NRL top four before deciding if they will risk Wade Graham and Jack Bird against Newcastle on Sunday.

    Bird (shoulder) and Graham (corked calf) are both under injury clouds ahead of their final round match with the Knights.

    The Sharks are waiting for the results of Friday's Parramatta-South Sydney clash before making a call.

    If the resurgent Rabbitohs can upset the Eels it will open the door for the Sharks to jump into fourth with a win, giving them a second bite at the cherry during the finals.

    Sharks veteran back-rower Luke Lewis said the club wouldn't risk the key duo unless there was something on the line against the Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium.

    Graham had to be assisted from the field in last week's loss to the Sydney Roosters and has this week been restricted to the club gym and training away from the main squad.

    "He's training really well, he's on top of his injury at the moment," Lewis said of Graham.

    "I'm not too sure if he'll play at this point in time.

    "We'll wait until Friday night and see what the result is with Parramatta and Souths.

    "I think if Parramatta lose he'll probably end up playing, if they win and we can't benefit from it, they'll end up giving him the week off and get the body right for one of the semis."

    Centre Bird has been named on an extended bench in the squad to take on the Knights after being close to a comeback against the Roosters last week.

    After missing the past three weeks, he has returned to training with the Sharks squad but coach Shane Flanagan will keep him in cotton wool if there's nothing to play for.

    "(Bird) is looking outstanding, he's been training really well and doing a lot of fitness and he was back on the park the other day," Lewis said.

    "I think he's keen to get back on the field.

    "I'm pretty sure, depending on results on Friday night, we'll end up giving him one more week just to make sure he's 100 per cent right."


    NZN




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