Cronulla appear to be pressuring Paul Gallen to retire from representative football after State Of Origin III, so he can dedicate his final season in the NRL to the Sharks.
Both Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan and chief executive Lyall Gorman say it is the club’s preferred option and Flanagan spelled it out on the club’s official podcast on Friday.
“Gal has had a bit of bad luck over the last couple of years and hasn’t been able to back up from Origin and play for the Cronulla Sharks but moving forward he won’t be playing Origin next year,” Flanagan said.
“He will only be playing for the Cronulla Sharks so he will concentrate on that.
“It is what it is, he is a quality rep player and it is just the nature of the beast.
“If you have those type of players in your club they are going to get picked for representative teams so you have just sometimes got to suck it up.”
At the heart of the issue is the perception that Gallen gives his all for NSW and his performances for the Sharks suffer as a result.
The NSW captain won’t play for the Sharks between Origin II and Origin III due to a rib injury suffered in NSW’s game two win at the MCG.
Speaking on Triple M radio, Gorman said a decision on Gallen’s representative future was yet to be made, but hinted strongly what he wanted from the NSW captain.
“The call hasn’t been made by Gallen yet,” Gorman said.
“In a perfect world next year Gallen would have a major, major focus on us.
“In a perfect world Gallen wouldn’t play Origin next year and we’ll have those discussions but they definitely won’t be wrapped up before Origin III.”
Flanagan said Gallen was set to finalise a one-year deal with the Sharks for 2016 next week.
Gallen has previously indicated he will play 2016 with the Sharks before chasing a contract in Super League from 2017 onwards.