Sharks chasing Pearce as salary cap opens up

Josh Massoud

Cronulla will turn its sights to chasing unhappy Rooster Mitchell Pearce, with the club still $800,000 under next year's salary cap after trading James Maloney for Panthers skipper Matt Moylan.

7th Tackle understands the Sharks want to pair Pearce in the halves alongside established playmaker Chad Townsend.

The Shire outfit sees Moylan as its first choice fullback, despite having both Valentine Holmes and Josh Dugan on the books in 2018.

If Pearce were to sign, they would play wing and centre respectively.

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The Sharks want Pearce alongside Townsend. Pic: Getty

Given Moylan pushed for a switch from fullback to the scrum base at Penrith last season, it will be interesting to see how he would embrace a return to the No. 1 jersey and the impact that would have on his State of Origin aspirations.

Ironically, Moylan made his last appearance for the Blues in Game Three 2016 alongside Maloney in the halves.

Pearce is holidaying overseas for another fortnight and will notify Roosters officials of his intentions when he arrives back in Australia.

Unless he's 100 percent committed and excited about working alongside star recruit Cooper Cronk, even if it means starting from the interchange bench, Pearce's days at Bondi will be numbered.

Maloney's move to the foot of the mountains represents a huge shake-up for the Panthers.

Josh Mansour and Sam McKendry are now the last-surviving members of the team from Phil Gould's arrival.

It also appears likely veteran rake Peter Wallace will resume the captaincy after being dumped in favour of Moylan at the start of 2016.