Cronulla will be without their NRL premiership-winning back-three for their World Club Challenge clash with Wigan on February 19.
Wingers Valentine Holmes and Sosaia Feki are both missing from the club’s extended 20-man squad through injury, and are racing the clock to be fit for their round-one clash with Brisbane.
Ben Barba is also absent after his highly publicised departure for French Rugby.
Recently recruited former NSW and Australian forward Tony Williams is missing too, sidelined by a hamstring injury.
In total, 13 of the Sharks’ NRL grand final side have been named for the trip, with hooker Michael Ennis having since retired.
In his place the Sharks could throw their faith in 20-year-old Jayden Brailey. He is the only specialist hooker selected in the squad, while Daniel Mortimer and Fa’amanu Brown add utility value.
However, it is nothing in comparison with their shortage out wide.
Holmes suffered a grade-two hamstring strain in Saturday’s 30-12 trial loss to Brisbane, and would have likely filled the fullback roll given the departure of Barba.
He is, however, considered slightly more chance than Feki of turning out for the Sharks’ season opener in just more than two weeks.
Feki injured his knee at training on Friday, forcing him to pull out of the All-Stars clash. The medial strain is expected to rule him out for up to four weeks.
It means Gerard Beale will likely deputise at fullback for the clash, while uncapped winger Jesse Ramien and utility back Kurt Capewell have also been named in the squad.
CRONULLA SQUAD: Jack Bird, Jesse Ramien, Gerard Beale, Ricky Leutele, Kurt Capewell, James Maloney, Chad Townsend, Paul Gallen, Wade Graham, Luke Lewis, Andrew Fifita, Matt Prior, Chris Heighington, Jeremy Latimore, Jayson Bukuya, Daniel Mortimer, Fa’amanu Brown, Jayden Brailey, Joseph Paulo, Sam Tagataese.