Carney to make Sharks debut

Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan says Todd Carney will make his Sharks debut against Manly in Friday’s trial match.

Carney, who joined the club after his sacking by the Sydney Roosters, will appear at halfback alongside former Penrith pivot Wade Graham.

“If Todd plays with Wade, he’ll play seven and play a similar role to the one he played with (Terry) Campese in Canberra. If he plays with one of the other halves, either Chad or Robbo, he’ll play six,” Flanagan said.

Carney has impressed during pre-season training with skipper Paul Gallen commending the former Canberra player’s athletic abilities.

How he operates with Graham will be crucial to coach Flanagan’s plans.

“Todd and Wade are going to get the first shot,” said Flanagan.

“Wade played 24 games for us last year and did a good job at five eighth,” Flanagan began. “Wade’s not a half back, he’s more of a runner, so he’ll play a little wider, while Todd will control the ruck.

“Wade is bigger and more robust, so that way he will be free to pick his time to run and also when to take the line on.”

Cronulla will be without Paul Gallen and Andrew Fifita, who are away with the NRL All Stars squad, and Jeremy Smith, who is enjoying an extended break after the Four Nations tournament.

For Manly meanwhile, the match is an opportunity for new coach Geoff Toovey to evaulate his squad ahead of the World Club Challenge match with Leeds on February 17.


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