Sharks in secret deal with new coach

Cronulla has reportedly agreed to terms with a new coach before even telling current coach John Morris he has been sacked.

Cronulla has jumped into bed with Roosters assistant coach Craig Fitzgibbon before even breaking up with current coach John Morris.

Rumours of Morris’ demise at the Sharks have intensified this week with claims the club has been unable to sign star players while he remained at Cronulla, despite public calls from Sharks players for him to stay.

The Daily Telegraph first reported on Sunday Morris was a dead man walking after the Sharks’ loss to the Roosters on Saturday.

It has now been reported by the Sydney Morning Herald that the Sharks have agreed to terms with Fitzgibbon.

The report reveals Fitzgibbon has already told the Roosters he will be leaving the club to take up the Cronulla head coaching position. Fitzgibbon is expected to see out his contract with the Roosters though to the end of the 2021 season before joining Cronulla for the start of pre-season training in November.

The Roosters and NSW State of Origin great has been Roosters coach Trent Robinson’s long-term senior assistant coach and has repeatedly been linked with head coaching positions when clubs have had to seek out new coaches.

Morris guided the Sharks to the finals in 2019 and 2020, but his contract expires at the end of the 2021 season.

It now appears he will have to walk away immediately.

According to reports, the Sharks also looked at Penrith’s defence coach Cameron Ciraldo, before deciding on Fitzgibbon.

The reports reveal the Sharks will this week announce Fitzgibbon has signed a three-year deal, reported to be worth more than $1.5 million.

He takes over a roster in limbo with the club having 15 players off-contract at the end of 2021.

Stars, including Josh Dugan, Shaun Johnson and Matt Moylan, will now have to show Fitzgibonn they are deserving of new deals.

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