True Blue Luke Lewis is confident Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks coach John Morris is the right man to lead the embattled club in 2019 following their recent off-season turmoil.
Morris beat out Cameron Ciraldo for the position on Friday which became available after former coach Shane Flanagan was deregistered by the NRL for breaching the terms of his 2014 suspension.
Lewis, who played 324 games during his NRL career before retiring at the end of last season, said the Sharks still remain as a genuine premiership heavyweight despite Morris’ inexperience as a NRL head coach.
“I think the Sharks are in really good hands at the moment,” Lewis told NSWRL.com.au.
“I think we’ve always had a really strong leadership base at the Sharks and even though I’ve moved on we’ve still got ‘Gal’ (Paul Gallen) and ‘Wadeo’ (Wade Graham) there.
“I think John Morris is going to help with that as-well, he’s been around the game for a long time and he’s known the game really well.”
While a host of senior players such as Gallen and Graham will prove invaluable on and off the field, their core group of young players will also prove imperative in delivering on-field success.
Lewis believes that Morris can help transition their young stars into on-field leaders having already played a part in their junior development in recent years.
“We’ve got some other young kids who have been in our senior leadership group for a while and they’re sort of starting to take on that role as well,” Lewis said.
“(Morris) is now coaching the team with all these young guys that he’s coached over the last couple of years so that will help as-well."
While the arrival of Shaun Johnson has given the Sharks high hopes for a potential top-four finish, Lewis believes that it's Matt Moylan who will thrive in 2019.
Moylan played a majority of last season at five-eighth but is expected to make the No.1 jumper his own following the departure of Valentine Holmes to the NFL.
Lewis lauded Moylan's big game experience and ability to take ownership in the pressure moments.
“I think 'Moyza' (Moylan) led really well last year, and it was his first year at the club and I actually think he had a really good first season to be honest with you," he said.
"So we’ll probably see the best of Matt Moylan I reckon this year...he'll stand up and lead from the front as he always does.
"When we have big games he’s the first one to put his hand up.
"I love playing with him and I'm looking forward to sitting on the sideline watching him play as well."