Cronulla powerbrokers will meet with coach John Morris’ management on Monday to discuss his future, per NRL.com‘s Dan Walsh.
It comes amid reports that Morris has “virtually no chance” of retaining his job next year, according to The Daily Telegraph‘s Phil Rothfield.
It is believed to be simply a matter of when he will be dismissed, potentially as soon as the end of the month, with the club identifying Craig Fitzgibbon as his most likely replacement.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that that Fitzgibbon had all but agreed to a three-year deal with the Sharks to take over from Morris next season.
The Sharks have reportedly reached out to Fitzgibbon through his manager, whose father, Allen, coached the club from 1988 to 1991.
Fitzgibbon is currently an assistant at the Roosters but is due to come off-contract the end of this season.
However, Walsh reports that Cronulla CEO Dino Mezzatesta denied the aforementioned reports.
“Bomber [Morris] is still our coach and we have not signed a deal with anyone,” Mezzatesta told NRL.com via text message on Sunday.
Penrith assistant Cameron Ciraldo is also on Cronulla’s radar, but Fitzgibbon is considered the frontrunner.
Morris took over as Sharks coach at the start of 2019 and has led the club to a 24-27 record over that period, reaching the finals in both seasons.
Speaking on Fox League’s Super Saturday, Storm legend Cooper Cronk praised what Morris has done but believes the writing is on the wall for his departure.
“I think he’s done a tremendous job with the talent that’s been out the last few years,” Cronk said
“There are a lot players there on big money that haven’t lived up to the expectation.
“I think the other thing too is for John Morris is the noise would be deafening.
“He hasn’t heard much and he’s been asking for an extension for a long time so that gives the indication they’re probably leaning another way.”
It comes as Cronulla slumped to its third loss of the season on Saturday night, going down to the Roosters 26-18.