Flanagan confirms Holmes replacement for World Club Challenge clash

With no Ben Barba and Valentine Holmes unavailable through injury, Cronulla Sharks coach Shane Flanagan has confirmed that representative duo Gerald Beale and Greg Bird will share the fullback duties in this weekend’s World Club Challenge match against Wigan.

Holmes is being touted as Cronulla’s long-term fullback but with the flyer out of the clash, Flanagan has told AAP he will rotate Beale and Bird throughout the eighty minutes.

“Gerard and Birdy will share the fullback role against Wigan,” Flanagan said in London.

“Val’s not here, he’s our first choice but it was always going to be a challenge this year where to play him.

“He wants to play fullback and I think he can be a really good fullback.

“But it was probably 12 months quicker than we’d have preferred but with Ben going, it is what it is, and Val will do a job there.

“But this game will give us options.”

Cronulla will start as favourites against the Super League champions.

Raiders v Knights trial will be streamed this Saturday on raiders.com.au with kick-off at 6.30pm

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