While coach Shane Flanagan will delay the naming of his team until after their scrimmage training session with Wigan on Wednesday night, indications are that Matt Moylan will make his first appearance in Cronulla colours in Saturday’s trial outing against Manly.
Moylan is tipped to play limited minutes alongside incumbent Sharks half back Chad Townsend, with Valentine Holmes set to also participate in the club’s first trial hit out of the 2018 pre-season.
Throw hooker Jayden Brailey into the mix and it will represent the first opportunity for the predicted Sharks ‘spine’ to start working on their combinations in a match situation.
Other than the likelihood of those four key members of the Sharks side playing at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Saturday, Flanagan has yet to declare his line up for the Sea Eagles trial.
After long World Cup campaigns, Josh Dugan and Wade Graham could be held back until the second trial match the following weekend against the Wests Tigers, while experienced campaigners Paul Gallen, Luke Lewis, Andrew Fifita and Matt Prior may also miss the game in giving the youngsters in the squad opportunity to impress against NRL opposition.
Amongst the young guns to get some valuable game time against the Sea Eagles include winger Sione Katoa, who is firmly in the mix to win a round one NRL team berth, half-back Kyle Flanagan and impressive lock Billy Magoulias.
New recruits Braden Uele, Ava Seumanufagai, Aaron Gray and Scott Sorensen are also expected to be named in the trial match squad.
Flanagan will officially announce his trial team on Thursday.
The Sharks v Manly trial is scheduled for a 7.30pm kick off, with an Intrust Super Premiership match between the Jets and Sea Eagles getting underway at 5.05pm and a Jersey Flegg trial, again featuring the Sharks and Manly, at 3.05pm.
Gates open at 3.00pm, with entry free for Sharks members and $10 for adults.