Moylan still the NRL man for Sharks: coach

Matt Encarnacion
Matt Moylan is on a program to return him to his best NRL form for struggling Cronulla

Cronulla coach John Morris is confident their conservative approach with injury-plagued star Matt Moylan will allay any fears over his long-term NRL future.

Provided he passes one final fitness test, Moylan will return to fullback for a desperate Sharks side in Sunday's clash with Canterbury.

It comes a week after missing yet another game due to a chronic hamstring issue which has raised concerns over his playing career.

NSW legend Andrew Johns this week expressed fears Moylan's horror injury run might have left some mental scars on the former State of Origin representative.

It also prompted the Sharks' medical staff to draw up a specialised program for this season, which Morris hopes will result in a rebound campaign.

"We actually had to change his program," Morris said on Saturday.

"He's doing a lot more strength work.

"With hamstrings, you've really got to get your strength into your legs and a lot of that comes from the eccentric nordic-type training.

"We've managed that a lot better this year than we did last year. His strength numbers are through the roof."

Morris has also opted to be more cautious with the one-time Kangaroo, despite their underwhelming start to the season.

Without Moylan, the Sharks seemingly bottomed out last week after becoming the first team to lose this season to St George Illawarra.

"Last year, (Moylan) flagged a bit of tightness and rolled the dice and played, and he ended up pulling one in a game," Morris said.

"We're not going to be burnt with that again this year.

"I think it was smart last week not playing him. He could've played but, given there was a bit of tightness there, we chose not to.

"Hopefully, that decision will be justified with an 80-minute performance from him this week. He just needs to get his confidence from back-to-back games.

"Once he gets that, the only mental demons he's got, he'll put that to bed and he'll be able to move on and, hopefully, have a big year for us."

Moylan's likely inclusion is set to be one of four changes this week, with Bryson Goodwin also rushed in after his mid-season move from South Sydney.

The Bulldogs sprang a late selection call on Saturday evening, with playmaker Brandon Wakeham coming in at the expensive of Lachlan Lewis.

Centre Reimis Smith is also in for Nick Meaney.

STATS THAT MATTER:

* The Sharks have won five of their past six against the Bulldogs, with five of the matches decided by six points or less, and four by two points or less

* Lachlan Lewis leads the league in kick metres with 2161m

* The Sharks and Bulldogs rank in the bottom four in post-contact metres, line breaks, tackle busts and missed tackles.