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Sharks gunning for league's Triple Crown

AAP logoAAP 7/12/2016 Darren Walton

Ambitious NRL premiers Cronulla have outlined their bold bid to emulate South Sydney and add the Auckland Nines and World Club Challenge titles to the club's trophy cabinet.

Until two months ago, the Sharks' only piece of silverware was the 1979 Amco Cup.

Now Shane Flanagan's premiership winners are eyeing rugby league's Triple Crown.

But the Sharks will have to overcome a gruelling schedule, with their World Club Challenge showdown with Wigan to take place in England on February 18 - a fortnight after the two-day Auckland Nines.

"It's going to be a hard task. It's going to be a big month for myself and the Sharks, but I'm sure we're capable of doing it," said Sharks centre Jack Bird, who is also likely to feature for the Indigenous All Stars against the World All Stars in Newcastle on February 10.

Given his side's demanding program - all before the NRL season proper even begins - Flanagan is unlikely to take a star-studded line-up to Auckland.

Bird, though, says he's certain to play after recovering from a dislocated elbow that the rugged centre heroically played with for much of Cronulla's 14-12 grand final victory over Melbourne.

The 21-year-old was a member of the Sharks side that was pipped 18-14 by South Sydney in extra time of the 2015 Auckland Nines final.

Souths' win came after their drought-breaking NRL grand final triumph over Canterbury and before the Rabbitohs' 39-0 drubbing of St Helens in the World Club Challenge.

Despite possibly being understrength in Auckland, Bird insists the Sharks are gunning for the title.

"That's the plan. We go over there hoping that we can win the comp."

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