Sidelined throughout Cronulla’s disastrous start to the season, Beau Ryan is set to finally make his 2014 debut in Saturday’s clash with Penrith at Remondis Stadium.
The 28-year-old winger hasn’t played this season due to a neck injury, but is poised to be rushed back into a Sharks side that sits at the bottom of the NRL ladder, with just one win from seven games.
Ryan was named on an extended bench by interim coach Peter Sharp, but if cleared will come into the starting side at the expense of Jonathan Wright, who has struggled on the flank this year.
Winger Sosaia Feki and centre Ricky Leutele will continue to combine on the Sharks’ left side.
Ryan’s inclusion will add some spice to what is sure to be a desperate battle, after Panthers playmaker Jamie Soward took umbrage at the part-time comedian’s depiction of him on Channel Nine’s Footy Show earlier this month.
Ryan has since apologised for the skit and has stopped airing it.
Meanwhile, Panthers prop Tim Grant says he is keen to put his contract dramas behind him and put in a big performance up front for Penrith.
Grant last week signed a four-year deal with South Sydney starting in 2015, but is keen to make an impact in his final season with his junior club.
“I have a lot of unfinished business here at Penrith,” Grant said.
“For me I’m really excited about moving onto South Sydney.
“(But) that contract is in the filing cabinet. I still feel lucky to be coming to training every day and to be pulling on a Panthers jersey.
“I’m just enjoying being here playing footy and looking to finish off with a big year here, starting with the Sharks this weekend.”
Prop Sam McKendry (ankle) remains sidelined with Grant to start in the front-row alongside Brent Kite, with Jeremy Latimore and Nigel Plum on the bench.