Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has pencilled in new signing Matt Moylan to be his five-eighth but admits the team could change again as the club waits on the status of Mitchell Pearce.
The Sharks finally confirmed the arrival of Moylan on Thursday, almost three months after the former Penrith captain missed this year’s NRL finals due to personal issues.
Flanagan pointed out James Maloney had yet to be announced as a Panther, but indicated Moylan would wear the No.6 jumper next season.
However Flanagan also refused to rule out making a play for Pearce, whose future at the Sydney Roosters remains unclear following the arrival of current Kangaroos halfback Cooper Cronk.
He expects an answer by the end of the month.
“Some days you hear that he’s going to move, some days you hear that he’s going to stay. So we’ll just sit back and I presume that will get done in the next week or two,” Flanagan said on Thursday.
“I think he’s due back to start training with the Roosters around the 20th or 23rd, somewhere along there. So I suppose we’ll hear if he’s going to go or going to move.”
Flanagan insisted the club had yet to make an approach to Pearce or his management, with the incumbent NSW State of Origin No.7 still overseas on holidays.
But the premiership-winning coach admitted Sharks players had reached out to Pearce.
“It’s a small world, he’s got some great mates within the club. He’s played with (Paul Gallen), and he’s played with Wade (Graham),” Flanagan said.
Flanagan was rapt with the signing of Moylan, but questioned whether the 26-year-old suffered from mental demons that forced Panthers boss Phil Gould to pull him from the finals.
He said the Sharks only spoke to Penrith about Moylan two weeks ago.
“It’d be a bit early for me to comment on (personal issues), but he’s happy, he’s really looking forward to start training here again and we know he’s a quality player,” Flanagan said.
Moylan spoke briefly to the club’s website after checking in for his first day at the Sharks.
“It’s a new chapter in my career and I’m looking forward to getting out here and playing some good footy,” he said.
“I’m excited about the new opportunity and wherever I end up playing I’ll be happy. Hopefully I can have a good off-season and hit the ground running.”
Moylan’s release comes a year after Penrith trumpeted his five-year contract extension and almost two years after appointing him captain.
“I’m sure I speak for everyone here at Panthers in wishing Matt all the best for this next phase of his life. We will follow his football career with great interest,” Gould said.