For Sharks Coach Shane Flanagan it could be a case of all hands on deck for this Saturday night’s trial against the Wests Tigers with the entire NRL squad likely to be available for selection.
Flanagan was without his five NRL All Stars representatives, skipper Paul Gallen, experienced forward Chris Heighington, centre Gerard Beale and winger Jacob Gagan for the Manly game, however all are hopeful of being fit to play at Campbelltown this weekend.
A slight doubt remains over Gallen, the Sharks skipper withdrawing from the All Stars match with a calf strain, with a decision as to his status for Saturday to be made later in the week.
Flanagan and the Sharks medical team are likely to err on the side of caution with Gallen should he not come up 100 per cent fit later in the week.
In peak aerobic condition due to the training he underwent for his recent boxing bout, the only thing Gallen requires is some miles in his legs prior to the start of the season, with the training staff monitoring his load at this early stage of a long year.
In some good news on the injury front Gagan appears to have overcome his injury issues of 2015 and was energetic at training earlier today.
In what was a frustrating year just gone, Gagan suffered repeated leg problems and as a result has been brought along slowly this summer. He is expected to get some game time in the trial matches against the Tigers in his first hit out of 2016.
Heighington, who missed the Manly match with a minor calf strain was kept out last week more as a precaution and should also be a part of the squad for this weekend’s trial.
Likewise, Beale will make his first appearance in 2016 in a 13-a-side contest on Saturday after suffering a quad injury at the NRL Nines. Again the injury was of a minor nature with Beale set to be ready to tackle the Tigers and if not, he will certainly be available come round one.
There were no other injury concerns to come from the Manly trial, while the five on duty at All Stars, Andrew and David Fifita, Ben Barba, Wade Graham and Michael Ennis also came through that match unscathed.
The Sharks are expected to name their teams tomorrow for the trial against the Tigers which is set down for Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday. Kick off to the NRL trial is at 7.00pm.