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22 Feb 2018 16:04
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Sharks confirm Hodkinson signing

    Cronulla have confirmed they have signed former NSW State of Origin halfback Trent Hodkinson to a one-year NRL deal from Newcastle.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Cronulla are confident they can manage Trent Hodkinson back to full fitness after signing the former NSW State of Origin winner as a back-up NRL halfback.

    The Sharks confirmed the 29-year-old's signature on a one-year deal on Monday, just a day after the ex-Manly and Canterbury No.7 completed a long-expected release from Newcastle.

    A NSW Origin hero in 2014, Hodkinson is unlikely to see much game time in the NRL in 2018 given the Sharks already have established half Chad Townsend and star recruit Matt Moylan at their disposal.

    But coach Shane Flanagan said he would provide vital depth as well as acting as a mentor for the Sharks' next crop of play-making talent.

    "He's fully aware he's coming here as a back-up," Flanagan said.

    "But these days you need a real competitive 30-man squad with four halves.

    "His leadership and experience will help with the development of our young halves Kyle (Flanagan) and Jack Williams."

    "Plus Origin is sure to cause some challenges with (Val) Holmes, (Wade) Graham, (Andrew) Fifita, (Josh) Dugan and (Matt) Moylan all possibly missing, with our depth and experience crucial during that period of the season."

    Hodkinson played just 17 games in first grade last season for Newcastle after he spent time in NSW Cup while battling knee injuries.

    The woes appeared to impact him significantly in defence, but Flanagan was confident his club medicos could bring the 156-gamer back to his best.

    "Trent has had some recent injury issues but I believe we have the best high-performance staff in the NRL," Flanagan said.

    "We will work hard on getting his body right and getting him on the field."

    Hodkinson's signature at Cronulla means rookie Lachlan Croker will almost certainly start the year as Manly's five-eighth.

    Hodkinson had been identified by the Sea Eagles as a potential target for a return to the club to partner Daly Cherry-Evans following Blake Green's departure to the Warriors.

    However the club's ongoing salary cap scandal has placed recruitment on hold and hamstrung their efforts.

    Manly were on Monday due to hand in their response to a breach notice issued by the NRL last December, but they have since been granted a third extension until the end of this week.


    NZN




    © 2018 NZN, NZCity


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