Rookie coach James Shepherd has been given the nod to stay in charge of the Cronulla Sharks for at least another week.
James Shepherd has been given the chance to build on the brilliant start he made to his NRL coaching career, with Cronulla confirming he’ll remain at the helm for at least another week.
The Sharks board met on Tuesday night and decided the club’s second interim coach this season Shepherd and the playing group should be left to focus on Sunday’s match against Newcastle at Remondis Stadium.
Sharks chief executive Steve Noyce still hasn’t ruled out employing an outside coach to join the staff before the year is out.
The fact remains they will need a new assistant to work alongside Shepherd next year when coach Shane Flanagan returns from his NRL suspension, given Peter Sharp resigned last week.
However, senior player Wade Graham is one to have backed Shepherd to stay in charge for the remainder of the season.
After leading the embattled club to the most fabled win in their history last week against the Sydney Roosters, Shepherd and his assistant, injured 300-game NRL star John Morris, are being shown faith.
“James and Bomber (Morris) jumped in last week and that’s a great credit to them,” said Noyce.
“It’s an unusual situation that Shane’s not back until the 17th of September.
“The original plan for next year in terms of assistant coaches would have obviously included Peter Sharp, and he’s not here. All of those things need to be taken into account.
“But it’s now Wednesday and we play on Sunday. I think we’re better off just focusing.
“Things that happen in board meetings are confidential but for everyone in the club it’s business as usual. Let the players play footy and let Shep and Bomber and all the other people involved do their job.
“We have to make sure we finish the season better … that’s certainly a priority for us and how we do that is up to me and the board and others to decide.”
The club announced a new sleeve sponsor Martec on Tuesday and are hoping fans come out in force on Sunday to recognise the Sharks’ monumental comeback wins over Brisbane and the Roosters the past two weeks.