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Sharks centre Jesse Ramien has declared his desire to claim a points decision over his old sparring partner Bronson Xerri in Friday’s clash with the Bulldogs.

The former Cronulla back will play against his old club for the first time on Friday night, more than four years after he last wore the black, white and blue.

Ramien was the Sharks centre when Xerri was coming through the ranks, with his departure to the Knights providing the youngster with the opportunity to break into the top flight and feature in 22 games in 2019.

Ramien returned to Cronulla in 2020, however their reunion was short lived. Xerri was informed of a positive drug test in May 2020 and was subsequently banned for four years.

The centre has impressed in his return this season after Canterbury provided an NRL lifeline and Ramien knows he will have to be on his game when the pair line up for a head-to-head battle on Friday night.

Bronson Xerri was one of the most promising youngsters in the NRL during his debut season in 2019.
Bronson Xerri was one of the most promising youngsters in the NRL during his debut season in 2019. ©NRL Photos

"Bronson was a freak coming through," Ramien told "When he came on to the scene he was a good player and it's no different now. 

"Even though he's had time out of the game, he's still a hell of a player so you've got to have respect for him and what he's done. I'll treat him no differently, I'll show him the respect he deserves out there and I'm keen for a big match up."

Bronson Xerri in focus

Sharks coach Craigh Fitzgibbon has stuck with the same 17 that fell to the Dolphins in their last start, with Teig Wilton in the mix to return from a shoulder injury after being named in the reserves. Nicho Hynes and Cam McInnes will also line up for their first game since being dropped from the NSW team. 

Xerri is set to return to the field after missing Canterbury's loss to the Roosters last weekend with a hamstring injury. The Bulldogs will be without Connor Tracey who is in the concussion protocol, with Blake Taaffe to start at fullback.

Canterbury skipper Stephen Crichton has been named on an extended bench, with his availability for Friday's clash to depend on how Wednesday night's State of Origin clash plays out.

It's a similar situation for Broncos trio Reece Walsh, Pat Carrigan and Payne Haas, who were named in the reserves while Melbourne pair Xavier Coates and Harry Grant have been picked for the Storm's match against the Raiders.

NSW playmaker Mitchell Moses has been listed at halfback for the Eels' clash with the Knights on Saturday, with youngster Matt Arthur set to make his NRL debut after being named on the Parramatta bench.

The call up comes on the back of Arthur's match-winning try for NSW in last week's Under-19's State of Origin victory over Queensland.

The hooker is the son of former Eels coach Brad Arthur and he credits his father for playing a key role in his development.

Matt Arthur scored the winning try for NSW in last week's Under-19's State of Origin.
Matt Arthur scored the winning try for NSW in last week's Under-19's State of Origin. ©NRL Photos

“My old man, he’s been helping me a bit, he’s relentless, helping me a lot with my game since I was a kid,” Arthur said.

“As a kid, he was always pushing us, teaching us little things, taking me and [older brother] Jake to the park to do little extras, doing the little things and just what it takes to play each week.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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