Sharks winger Valentine Holmes against the Dragons in Round 23.

Injured Sharks fullback Valentine Holmes took part in some light training on Monday morning, but it remains unclear whether the 21-year-old will be cleared to face the Raiders this weekend.

Holmes was tipped to be the man to replace Ben Barba following the premiership-winner's defection to French rugby, but a hamstring injury picked up in the trials has scuttled those plans for the time being. 

The Queensland hopeful didn't play in his side's season-opening loss to the Broncos last week, with Sharks coach Shane Flanagan cautious about rushing him back too soon. 

"He'd be very close, very close to playing," Flanagan said on Thursday night after the loss. 

"The only concern that we have is the high-speed running that Val does. We'll be pushing him as far as we can, but it's a long season and I want to make sure he's 100 per cent right rather than 95. 

"I'd be shooting myself if he came back and injured himself and was out for a long period of time. It's one of those things where we want to get it right, but if he's not 100 per cent then we won't play him."

 


With Holmes out injured, Gerard Beale made the most of his opportunity in the No.1 jersey, scoring a try and setting another one up against the side he debuted with back in 2009.

It was the first time Beale had played fullback for the Sharks, and the first time he'd filled the role at club level since Round 26, 2014. 

Having played centre, wing and off the bench in 2016, the Kiwis international relished the chance to reacquaint himself with the more hands-on role, but was circumspect when asked if he wanted the jersey on a permanent basis. 

"I haven't thought too far ahead. My main focus is concentrating on the now and what I can control," he said. 

"I'm playing fullback now and I want to make the most of it. I enjoy the position, but in saying that, we've got a lot of depth at the club. Quite a few players could easily play fullback."

Rather than view him as competition, Beale said he was excited to see Holmes back on the training paddock, but he couldn't shed any light as to when the speedster might make his return. 

"It was good to see him out there today," Beale said. 

"I know he's itching to play, that's for sure, but I'm not sure where he stands or how far away he is. He was running around and enjoying himself which was good to see."