In-demand No.9 Blayke Brailey is the latest target in Cronulla's homegrown retention drive, with the Sharks kicking off extension talks to keep circling NRL rivals at bay.
Despite an impending verdict in the NRL's salary cap investigation expected to be delivered this week, Cronulla have made moves to re-sign Brailey beyond his current deal and tie him down long-term alongside brother and starting hooker Jayden.
Canterbury are understood to be one of several clubs interested in the NSW under 20s rake, yet to make his NRL debut.
The return of James Segeyaro on a one-year deal and his brother's status as first choice hooker has fuelled thought the younger Brailey could be forced out of Cronulla, but CEO Barry Russell described the Sharks junior as a "priority target".
"The conversation around keeping Blayke has started and will continue," Russell told NRL.com.
"He's a local junior and we don't want to lose a single one of them".
Brailey's own preference is to stay in The Shire as well and challenge his older brother for the No.9 jumper, though his first focus is landing a spot in John Morris's game day 17.
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A fractured thumb suffered in last week's trial against Manly is not expected to rule Brailey out of contention for Cronulla's round one trip to Newcastle.
Brailey conceded trying to pinch his brother's starting spot was not an ideal scenario, but doesn't believe it is one that will necessarily push him to a rival club
"We are in that tough situation but we do enjoy the competition," Brailey said.
"I'd rather be competing against my brother for the same spot than anyone else, I really enjoy it.
"Hopefully we can both play, we both want to be No.9 so we'll see what happens.
"We have had a chat but I want focus on my footy. My dad's good with that sort of stuff and he looks after it.
"Both Jayden and I definitely want to stay here and I think they want me to stay here. It's a tough situation but I'm only 20 years old so I've got time. I don't want to push things too fast or anything either".
The Brailey brothers have played together previously at under 20s and schoolboy level, when they were joined by fellow young guns Kyle Flanagan and Bronson Xerri for a reasonable Aquinas College side.
Jayden has previously shifted to lock when both Braileys have been on the paddock, but challenging Segeyaro for the Sharks utility role looms as the younger siblings most immediate path to first grade.
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Meanwhile club favourite Brett Kimmorley has taken on a coaching role on Morris's staff, working with playmakers Chad Townsend, Shaun Johnson and Flanagan with a distinct focus on each man's kicking game.
Former Bulldogs half Daniel Holdsworth has also been promoted to a specialist skills coach role with the first grade squad, while juniors guru Dave Howlett has been installed as Morris's second assistant coach.
Howlett has been involved with Cronulla's best young talent for the past two decades, coaching the Brailey brothers, Flanagan, Xerri and the likes of Blake Ferguson and Marty Taupau at schoolboy level.