Sharks Fullback Selection Drama Ahead of Roosters’ Elimination Final


Facing a looming potential injury crisis, the Cronulla Sharks’ selection dilemma has ramped up as fullbacks Connor Tracey and Will Kennedy vie for a place in a 22-player squad mapped out for Saturday’s elimination final against the Roosters.

The injury crisis was previously compounded by apprehensions around the team having to rely on Daniel Atkinson, a player with only two minutes of NRL experience this season, after Tracey sustained a knee injury during the recent victory over Canberra. However, fears were allayed when Tracey, despite leaving PointsBet Stadium braced on Sunday, was buoyed by scan results the following day that showed no damage to his left leg.

“It was just a jar, nothing serious. It was such a relief to receive such good news after the scan,” Tracey expressed. “There is no damage at all. It was just a precaution to draw me out of the game and apply ice on it. The knee feels much better today.”

Tracey’s positive update notwithstanding, his position in the forthcoming face-off against the Roosters remains uncertain, with Kennedy being a surprising addition to the extended bench.

Kennedy, a dynamic fullback, who has been sidelined since incurring a significant hamstring tear during the 28-0 defeat by Penrith in Round 22, would be a game-changer for the Sharks side that has found their rhythm in attack. Fullback Nicho Hynes showered praises on Kennedy saying, “Will’s a top-notch fullback. He was among the top three fullbacks in the competition for the first half of the year, so we’re privileged to have two excellent fullbacks at our club at present.”

Hynes was initially startled to hear that Tracey was primed to play this weekend and expressed his delight for his teammate, who has bounced back from multiple serious injuries to secure his position on the team. Despite his initial astonishment, Hynes believes that Tracey has earned his right to play.

Tracey, having spent the majority of the season playing NSW Cup, is anticipated to participate in his fourth finals game, marking his debut as a fullback. Propelled by his newfound opportunity, Tracey is reveling in this moment while maintaining his focus on perfecting his performance. He commented, “My concerns are not just about the week-to-week progression, but I am looking forward to a successful performance against the Roosters, which I’m treating just like any other game.”


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