Cronulla Sharks Training Session
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 02: Sharks coach John Morris watches on during a Cronulla Sharks NRL training session at PointsBet Stadium on June 02, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

There are serious questions surrounding the future of Cronulla coach John Morris.

The Sydney Morning Herald are reporting that Morris had requested a contract extension which would have seen him secure a significant pay rise, which was soon rejected mid-way through the season.

That has now led to Cronulla questioning if Morris is the man moving forward.

There were five coaches who departed their clubs during 2020 and it is highly unlikely we will see anything like that extremity in 2021.

Anthony Griffin (St George Illawarra), Trent Barrett (Canterbury), Kevin Walters (Brisbane), Todd Payten (North Queensland) and Nathan Brown (New Zealand) will most likely be given some leeway as they begin to get comfortable at their new posts.

Morris has made a habit of blooding the youth at the Sharks and has guided the club to back-to-back finals appearances where they have been knocked out in week one on both occasions.

The Sharks will finally be on a level playing field with their rivals in 2021, as they have been forced to pay under the salary cap with fines for cap breaches from previous seasons.

The Herald are reporting that Cronulla sources have said the quiet approach on Morris’ behalf for a new deal midway through his three-year contract came during the pandemic-affected season.

The Cronulla board weren’t interested in doing a deal when costs were being cut across the competition, the message was: “You came into the job with eyes wide open and knew the challenges you would be inheriting.”

Morris has found support in some of his star players, with halfback Chad Townsend claiming Morris inherited “a mess”.

“If anything, John has overachieved,” Townsend told Wide World of Sports¬†earlier this month. “He has helped my game and taken Shaun [Johnson’s] to a new level this year.

“When you take into consideration he inherited a mess [when Flanagan left], he has done superbly and brought in a bunch of great young players who will only get better next year.”
The Sharks are running out of time to make their decision as they prepare for the 2021 season. There is no date yet set for when the club will announce a decision.

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