Sharks back Moylan after horror NRL year

Matt Encarnacion
Cronulla coach John Morris should have three key players back when the Sharks return to NRL action

Cronulla have backed injury-plagued fullback Matt Moylan to overcome a horror year and rediscover his best form when the NRL resumes on May 28.

Moylan is one of three players the Sharks are counting on to put their injury woes behind them and help turn around a winless start to the season.

Moylan (calf), veteran Josh Dugan (knee) and rising talent Bronson Xerri (shoulder) all missed the opening two rounds before the competition was suspended.

Dugan has resumed training despite fears in the pre-season that his career could be brought to a premature end by chronic knee issues.

The former Kangaroos international sent another scare through the club on Tuesday when he reported in with a sore throat.

He was tested for COVID-19 and the result was negative, however, Dugan has been forced to isolate from his team for the next 48 hours and is expected back on Friday.

"He's tracking really well," Sharks prop Aaron Woods, who was unaware of Dugan's test, said of his teammate on Wednesday.

"He had a really good two sessions last week and we're really happy with the way he's going at the moment."

But it's the return of Moylan that could be the key, with the former State of Origin representative desperate to put a frustrating 12 months behind him.

He battled a string of hamstring issues that limited him to just 11 games last season, prompting the great Andrew Johns to fear for his career.

Woods blamed Moylan's nightmare injury run on the positional switch from five-eighth, where he excelled in his first season at the club in 2018.

"The amount of running and style of running, it's a lot more explosive," he said.

"And getting more (kilometres) in the legs - his body probably didn't handle that last year too well.

"That's been the biggest thing he's worked on in the pre-season."

Halfback Chad Townsend said Moylan emerged from the coronavirus shutdown fit and happy.

"I saw Moyza out there today running freely, fast, smile on his face," he said.

"I had a quick chat to him after training. He's jumping out of his skin to get back.

"These boys (Moylan, Dugan and Xerri) are going to be huge for us.

"I can't wait to get them back in our team."