“Hopefully I do a good enough job to get in the squad to fly to England for the World Club Challenge”.
Orange product Dan Mortimer said that a week ago, leading into his Cronulla Sharks’ NRL trial game against the Brisbane Broncos in Redcliffe last weekend.
Starting at hooker, Mortimer was strong in taking the next step toward filling premiership-winning rake Michael Ennis’ vacated No.9 jersey.
Strong enough to book a ticket to England, despite the Sharks’ 30-12 loss.
Mortimer is one of three hookers named in Stuart Flanagan’s 20-man squad for the World Club Challenge – alongside Jayden Brailey and Fa’amanu Brown – where the Sharks will take on the Wigan Warriors on Monday, February 20 (ADST).
The squad contains 13 members of last year’s premiership-winning squad, including skipper Paul Gallen, Orange-born five-eighth James Maloney, Clive Churchill Medallist Luke Lewis and boom prop Andrew Fifita.
In naming 20, Flanagan has been forced to leave a handful of injured players behind, most notably Valentine Holmes, Sosaia Feki and new buy Tony Williams, he’s keeping his cards close his chest as to who might slot into the fullback role too.
Gerard Beale appears to be the most obvious choice, with Jack Bird another option.
Another interesting selection is Jesse Raimen, the outside back impressed at last weekend’s NRL Auckland Nines.
Brailey, in a direct battle with Mortimer for the No.9 jersey, said he and the group is just looking forward to getting to England. The travelling party flies out on Saturday.
“We’ve got two training sessions I think, but we get the chance to go to Paris as well and do quite a bit of sight-seeing,” Brailey said.
“But we’ll be definitely doing a lot of training and we’ll be focused more than anything on the first game and getting that win.”
CRONULLA SHARKS: Jack Bird, Jesse Raimen, Gerard Beale, Ricky Leutele, Kurt Capewell, James Maloney, Chad Townsend, Paul Gallen, Wade Graham, Luke Lewis, Andrew Fifita, Matt Prior, Chris Heighington, Jeremy Latimore, Jayson Bukuya, Daniel Mortimer, Fa’amanu Brown, Jayden Brailey, Joseph Paulo, Sam Tagataese