New Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon has been impressed with Nicho Hynes in pre-season and is predicting big things from the former Storm star in 2022.
Cronulla get their 2022 NRL season underway against the Canberra Raiders and are priced at 87/100 begin with a win in the nation's capital city.
Fitzgibbon will have to watch his first game in charge of the Sharks from the sidelines after becoming sick, but he has every confidence in his coaching staff while he is at home.
Assistant coach Josh Hannay, who was caretaker coach for most of last season, will take charge and Fitzgibbon says he can rest easy knowing they are in safe hands.
"It’s not the ideal debut but it’s comforting to know that we have got such a strong staff," Fitzgibbon told reporters ahead of the game.
Hynes will be making his Sharks debut though after arriving from Melbourne Storm at the end of the season and Fitzgibbon is excited to see what he can deliver this year.
He was outstanding for the Storm last season but watching him in the flesh is even better according to his new coach.
"Nicho’s work ethic has been awesome. The thing that has probably caught the staff off guard is that he is relentless. There are no days off, it is just extra kicking or extra passing," Fitzgibbon added.
"His skill set is obvious. He has grown up a half and played the last couple of years at fullback, so he knows he has to be on point with all that stuff to be able to steer a team around. He has taken that on, and he accepts that responsibility.
"Players in the spine positions have got to be good decision makers and Nicho is a good decision maker. He has been great."