Rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns believes the Sharks’ salary cap is far too top heavy and reliant on a number of injury-prone stars.
The Sharks over-achieved by making the finals in 2020, given their horror injury run, but the fact they pay big money to Matt Moylan, Andrew Fifita and Josh Dugan who have struggled recently with injuries is a concern going forward.
“They’re at that stage where they’ve got salary cap dramas,” Johns said on Wide World of Sports.
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“Matt Moylan is apparently on big money, he’s had those hamstring problems and he’s played a handful of games.
“Andrew Fifita has been a wonderful player but he’s got that knee injury and he looks really restricted.
“Josh Dugan is apparently on big money as well, so they’re really top-heavy in the cap with older players managing injuries so how they manage that will be a big challenge.”
Added to that the Sharks will be without star half Shaun Johnson for a large chunk of next season due to an Achilles injury suffered against the Roosters.
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Johnson led the NRL in try assists for much of the season in a stunning return to form and currently still holds the lead on 23 with Souths’ star Cody Walker.
However Johns cautioned the nature of Johnson’s injury could make it hard to hit those heights again and certainly not by his return in 2021.
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“I think they may struggle a little bit,” Johns said of the Sharks’ hopes without Johnson.
“Shaun Johnson coming back from a ruptured Achilles, that’s a really long process for that recovery.
“Some players are never the same (because) you lose a little bit of speed.”
Andrew Fifita has been hampered by injuries in 2020.Source:Getty Images
The Sharks desperately need to have their highest paid players in Fifita, Moylan and Dugan on the field consistently to help cover the loss of Johnson.
If they can’t string games together the burden on the younger Sharks stars could prove too tough over the course of a full NRL season.
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Originally published asJoey’s fears for Sharks’ ‘top-heavy’ salary cap geared to injury-prone stars
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