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Segeyaro 'ready to play' for the Sharks

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/03/2017 Scott Bailey

Cronulla hooker James Segeyaro has told teammates he is "ready to play" ahead of his first training session with the NRL club on Wednesday.

The former North Queensland and Penrith dummy-half has endured a difficult few months after his mid-contract departure from English Super League club Leeds.

However, with that now clear, all that stands in the way of him and returning to the rugby league field is his contract registration with the NRL - which is expected to clear this week.

Segeyaro is yet to train with the Sharks' top squad. He was forced to prepare on his own while the release with Leeds was negotiated and eventually paid out by the Sharks, while he was positioned with Cronulla's feeder-club, Newtown since late last week.

After a lengthy stint on the sideline, Sharks teammate Jeremy Latimore said Segeyaro was "jumping out of his skin" to get back on the field.

"He's had a rough couple of months but I know Chicko and he's told me he is ready to play," Latimore said.

"I know if he gets the opportunity he'll be bouncing out of his skin."

Latimore and Segeyaro's friendship dates back to their days as teammates at Penrith.

The pair played together in the club's run to the preliminary final in 2014, while Segeyaro was named Dally M Hooker of the year that season.

Latimore has kept a close eye on Segeyaro and insists the 26-year-old has lost none of the skills that made him one of the biggest game-breakers in the league.

"He's still a picture of health," Latimore said.

"I think he'll fit into the group pretty well. We've got a couple of players who promote the footy in terms of offloads and I reckon that's when he's at his best, playing off broken play.

"He will be out ready to prove he can still play."

Where Segeyaro returns to the field is still unknown.

The Sharks are confident the NRL will clear his registration in time for Saturday's clash with Parramatta at ANZ Stadium but it's likely he could return through reserve grade.

Cronulla have unearthed a young hooker of their own, Jayden Brailey, who has been one of the club's stars in the opening weeks of the season.

However, he only played 80 minutes for the first time in Sunday's 16-10 loss to St George Illawarra, while Segeyaro has come off the bench in 67 of his 103 NRL games.

"It's going to be a good headache for Flanno (coach Shane Flanagan) to have," Latimore said.

"Jayden Brailey has been unreal over the first few weeks.

"He's really stepping into the role in the first three games and played outstanding. He'll continue to develop."

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