Former Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues assistant coach Craig Fitzgibbon has revealed his plans to play incoming recruit Nicho Hynes in the halves at the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks for 2022.
Speaking to fans at a club function, the new Sharks coach was joined by True Blues and Cronulla legends Gavin Miller, Andrew Ettinghausen, Paul Gallen, Wade Graham, as well as another new recruit Cameron McInnes.
While Hynes was in career best form playing at fullback for Melbourne Storm in 2021, Fitzgibbon said he had other plans for the talented utility for 2022.
“A lot of people wouldn’t know, but Nicho has only just started playing fullback in the last 12 to 18 months,” Fitzgibbon said.
“He actually grew up as a half, and he’s been a half most of his life. We signed him as a half.”
“We’ve got four really good halves on our books.
“I haven’t even watched a training session with our existing halves, but competition for spots makes everything competitive.
“We need to complement a style that makes Nicho look the same way he did this year because he’s pretty exciting. If he wears No,7 or No.6, I’m not going to change the way he plays.”
Competing for a spot in the halves will be True Blue Matt Moylan and recent NSW Cup graduates Braydon Trindall and Luke Metcalf.
The Short Side with Jamie Soward & Luke Metcalf
Trindall featured in 18 games this year, starting off the bench and playing their final 10 games at five-eighth and halfback. The 2019 NSW Cup Grand Final winner finished with four tries, 36 goals at 81.8%, nine try assists, 11 linebreak assists and 158.4 average kicking metres.
Moylan has had a horrid run with injuries during his time at the Sharks although he managed to play 15 games this season, his most since 2018.
When fit and firing, Moylan is up there as one of the most dangerous ball players in the competition and can be a genuine attacking threat for Fitzgibbon’s new-look Sharks.
He finished the season with two tries, five try assists, six linebreak assists and 97 running metres per game.
Sharks Rookie of the Year Metcalf made his NRL debut in Round 20 against his old club Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Largely playing off the bench, the NSW Cup standout was given two opportunities to play at his natural position of five-eighth with his best performance coming in Round 23 against Wests Tigers.
Metcalf finished the game with two tries, one try assist, one linebreak, five tackle busts and 124 running metres to help the Sharks defeat the Tigers 50-20.