Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan says he will continue to try to convince Paul Gallen to give up his State of Origin career but it is not a sticking point in the captain’s drawn-out NRL contract negotiations.
Gallen has reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension with the Sharks that is expected to be confirmed in the coming days.
The club is urging the 33-year-old to not turn out for the Blues in next year’s Origin series nor add to his 31 Tests for Australia after sitting out large chunks of the last two seasons because of injuries.
He has been restricted to just eight games so far in 2015 because of rib and glute injuries and managed just nine appearances last year.
Gallen has stated he has no plans to give up his Blues and Kangaroos jumpers.
Flanagan admitted there was a difference of opinion between Gallen and the club, but said it had not been a roadblock to him re-signing.
“I’m sure Gal wants to play Origin, my wish is he doesn’t play Origin,” Flanagan said on Friday.
“There’s no concerns, or me and Gal butting heads about it. It’s just a negotiation thing.
“I don’t want to take him away from rep football, I want rep footballers in my club, it’s a great honour to have the captain of NSW playing for the Sharks.
“But it’s something we need to consider, it’s something we’ll discuss with Gal, it’s not part of his contract negotiations now, we’ll just discuss it when the time comes.”
Gallen has been locked in contract negotiations with Cronulla for most of the year and in April admitted he was frustrated at negotiations taking so long.
He has previously stated his intentions to have one final year with Cronulla before moving to England for a career swansong in the Super League.
Flanagan said negotiations with Gallen were drawing to a close and both parties were working through a few smaller details.
“From my side of things it’s been done for a couple of weeks, the salary cap side of things,” Flanagan said.
“It’s just the finer details.”