'Dizzy' Lewis will be ready for Origin
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan has allayed any concerns that ongoing management of serious illnesses will prevent Luke Lewis from taking his place in Laurie Daley's New South Wales team for Game One of the Holden State of Origin Series on May 27.
Lewis's night against the Titans was built on quality over quantity and his two charge-downs of Aidan Sezer kicks in the second half were absolutely imperative in turning momentum his team's way as the game hung in the balance.
Twice in the latter stages of the second half Lewis had to come from the field for treatment, Flanagan explaining post-match that the ongoing management of medication required to treat thyroid cancer and rheumatoid arthritis left him feeling dizzy and with breathing difficulties but doesn't believe they will be an issue when Origin teams are named on Tuesday.
"I think the medication is playing up a little bit with his breathing and we'll get on top if it this week," Flanagan said of Lewis who also scored the Sharks' second try of the night.
"Confident 'Lewie' will be OK; it's just tweaking his medication at the moment. It's causing a few problems with his respiratory system and his lungs so we'll get on top of that.
"He was short of breath there for a while and then he had a dizzy spell so he did really well to come back out and then once again we had to pull him off."
Although there was never a question of Lewis taking his place in the Cronulla team on Saturday night, Flanagan revealed that his star back-rower had endured a difficult week trying to manage his two courses of medication.
"This week's been really hard for Luke, he's had his thyroid cancer and he's got to keep his medication up for that and he's got rheumatoid arthritis in that right knee that he's trying to balance the medication with that as well," said Flanagan.
"I saw him on Thursday night at the Women in League function and he was a bit rattled because he'd spent the last two days in and out of seeing specialists so he's done a really good job under difficult circumstances and the way he played [against the Titans] was special."
As a member of the Kangaroos team a fortnight ago and a veteran of seven Origin series for New South Wales, Lewis's inclusion is one of few certainties in Daley's squad of 17 and continues to inspire his teammates at club level.
"Unfortunately with 'Lewie' he's had a bad run with injury and it's just been trying to get him right for the team," said Cronulla captain Wade Graham.
"He's just starting to get a bit of rhythm and he's starting to show week in and week out what he can do for the Sharks which he's struggled with since he's come here.
"All of the boys look up to him and when he can produce efforts like that it just really inspires the team."