Old 'Dog Morris to teach young Sharks new tricks

A veteran with 263 NRL appearances and 14 State of Origin caps beside his name, True Blue Josh Morris still has plenty to offer, heading into his 13th season in the top grade.

I still feel like I've got some good football in me

Josh MorrisNSW True Blue

Reporting for duty at Cronulla this week, Morris, 32, wasted little time in taking on a mentor's role amongst a circle of up-and-coming Sharks talents.

"There's a lot of young talent here that I can help out and transition them from fringe first-graders into first-graders. I'm really excited and looking forward to that challenge as well," Morris told sharks.com.au.

"There's some faces here that I've never seen before, it's important to try and get around and introduce myself and to get to know them as quick as possible, and to form those combinations early.

"I'm looking forward to having [the full NRL squad] back, and ripping into pre-season."

Good times: Josh Morris celebrates an Origin try in 2015
Good times: Josh Morris celebrates an Origin try in 2015 ©NRLPhotos

Top of Morris' mentoring agenda would be none other than boom outside back, Bronson Xerri.

Dubbed a 'Jack Bird clone', Sharks supporters will remain hopeful Xerri can one day replicate the efforts of the 2016 premiership-winning centre.

Beyond his years: Xerri represented both the NSW Under-20s and Under-18s outfits in 2018
Beyond his years: Xerri represented both the NSW Under-20s and Under-18s outfits in 2018 ©Nathan Hopkins/NRLPhotos

Xerri featured for the NSW under-20s outfit in 2018, having also previously represented NSW at the under-18s and under-16s levels.

The strong and elusive 18-year-old scored a four-pointer in the Sharks' 22-12 Jersey Flegg Cup Grand Final win against the Panthers, and ran in a treble of tries for Newtown in his Intrust Super Premiership debut versus Wentworthville Magpies in Round 16.

But as well as grooming the next generation of stars in the Shire, Morris has his sights set on achieving short-term successes of his own.

"I'd like to play finals football, it's something we didn't do this year at the 'Dogs... that was one of the big reasons (for) coming across... I still feel like I've got some good football in me," Morris said.

"It's about tapping into that, and trying to have as best a pre-season as possible leading into a good season."