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Gallen back for struggling Sharks

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August 13, 2014 12:46:22 UK

The return of skipper Paul Gallen is a rare positive for Cronulla Sharks as they continue to see players join their casualty list.

The Sharks saw both interim coach James Shepherd and centre Ricky Leutele absent from training on Wednesday, ahead of the meeting with the Storm at AAMI Park where they are 7.00.

The pair are both suffering from the virus that swept through the club before last Sunday’s defeat to the Warriors and which ruled Gallen out of the match.

Gallen lost 3kgs while he was ill, but has recovered enough to play against Melbourne on Saturday as the club seek a win to ease their wooden spoon fears.

Cronulla, who are 1.95 with a 20-point start, have been badly affected by injuries this year, and 15 of the squad that began this season are unavailable this weekend.

The latest to join that group is Sam Tagataese, who will miss the rest of the season after accepting a four-week suspension from a dangerous throw charge.

Sharks chief executive Steve Noyce said there was no way the club would be waving the white flag, and was encouraged by the way they held the Warriors scoreless after half-time on Sunday.

“The opposition have no disposition towards feeling sorry for us or anything,” said Noyce. “They’ll have 17 players wanting to win and we will too.

“It’s a case of one door closing and one door opening with some young men getting the opportunity and relishing the opportunity.

“You always want to win, but there was no disappointment with that effort (against the Warriors) and we need to build on that for the rest of this year to put some respectability back.”

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