Sharks pick teenagers for Raiders clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks pick teenagers for Raiders clash

07/04/2009 06:28:52 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla have promoted two teenagers from the Toyota Cup after three players, including skipper, Paul Gallen were suspended on Tuesday.

Prop Jonathan Mannah, 19, and centre Matthew Wright, 18, will make their NRL debuts against Canberra at Toyota Stadium on Saturday with the Sharks in crisis mode.

The Sharks have lost their last three games and their situation was made worse as Gallen, Misi Taulapapa and Kade Snowden all accepted early guilty pleas to match review committee charges.

Gallen will miss two games for striking Bulldogs five-eighth Ben Roberts with a forearm in Sunday's 24-12 defeat at ANZ Stadium.

Snowden and Taulapapa will miss one week because of grapple tackle charges but teammate Luke Douglas escapes a ban after pleading guilty to use of a swinging arm.

The promotion of Mannah and Wright has come much sooner than expected with the Sharks in the midst of a horror injury run and now judiciary dramas.

Mannah is an Australian schoolboys rep and the younger brother of Parramatta rookie prop Tim.

He only joined the Sharks in 2009 after developing with the Eels under-20s side last year.

Wright also joined Cronulla this year, venturing east after a few seasons with Penrith.

An Australian and NSW Schoolboy representative, Wright scored six tries in 10 games for the Panthers' under-20s last year and has already crossed twice in four games for the Sharks.

The two new faces are part of several changes coach Ricky Stuart has made to his side that performed so poorly last Sunday.

Star recruit Trent Barrett has been named to make his return from neck injury at the expense of Blake Green, who was dropped to NSW Cup.

David Simmons was also recalled to replace Taulapapa on the wing, while Mannah, Wright, prop Grant Millington and hooker Terence Seu Seu are the four new faces on the interchange bench.

Reni Maitua will fill Gallen's No.13 jersey in his first run-on appearance for the Sharks.

In other NRL judiciary news, Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk, Wests Tigers utility Rhys Hanbury and Gold Coast's Brett Delaney, who were also charged with dangerous contact to the neck and head, escaped a ban after taking early guilty pleas.

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