Rugby league legend Peter Sterling believes dropped Sharks star Matt Moylan will struggle to regain his place in Cronulla’s starting side and could have to settle for a bench role.
It is a stunning fall from grace for the former Origin and Test star, who is on a massive $850,000 a season contract.
The 29-year-old has struggled with injuries in his time in the Shire since moving from the Panthers in 2018 and Sterling believes he has fallen down the pecking order at both fullback and in the halves.
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“The players that are there are making it difficult for him to get back,” Sterling said on WWOS’ Sterlo’s Wrap.
“[Chad] Townsend and [Shaun] Johnson have been missing in recent weeks but they will come back in and they will be the halves pairing, in my opinion.
“[Braydon] Trindall and Connor Tracey have done a good job in their absence, so they’re keeping that little bit of pressure on.
“And Matt Moylan, who continues to have hamstring problems and consistency problems, I don’t know whether he can oust those players.
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“The other guy who comes in to that now is Will Kennedy; had his best game in the top grade in this match [against the Cowboys] as well. Maybe his form actually takes Moylan out of wearing the No.1 jersey also.”
Moylan has scored 28 tries in 132 NRL games since debuting in 2013, with the former Panthers skipper also playing three games for the Blues and one Test for the Kangaroos in 2016.
Sterling believes Moylan may have to swallow his pride and play a new role off the bench if he is to break back into the 17 in time for the finals.
“I think if Matt Moylan comes back fit, he will find it very difficult certainly to be on the run-on side because Townsend and Johnson are your six and seven as far as I’m concerned,” Sterling said.
“I think Kennedy is, not the surprise packet, but the guy who’s grabbed his opportunity because there would be talk maybe if Moylan was in contention, ‘What do we do with Josh Dugan, maybe change him as well’.
“But I think Kennedy at fullback, Johnson and Townsend as your halves. That puts Matt Moylan back on the bench.”