Cronulla Sharks have been dealt a massive blow before Saturday night's stoush with the Parramatta Eels with Matt Moylan out with a hamstring injury.
The star five-eighth suffered the injury at training on Wednesday night and the club has been given an exemption by NRL head of football Brian Canavan to bring Trent Hodkinson into the 21-man squad.
Cronulla did not name Hodkinson in their 21-man squad on Tuesday night but he will be allowed to make his first Telstra Premiership appearance as a Shark in the No.22 jersey.
The Sharks were allowed to make the late inclusion because Canavan was comfortable that "a rigorous process was applied in ensuring the right outcome was reached".
Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan, earlier on Friday, announced Paul Gallen had been cleared to play against the Eels but fellow veteran forward Luke Lewis would not be making his return from a foot injury until next weekend.
Flanagan said despite Parramatta's 54-0 drubbing at the hands of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles last week, he was still wary of the Eels in the second game of the Saturday night double-header at ANZ Stadium.
"It’s always a challenge when you play against a side that’s put in a disappointing performance, that’s not me judging their performance I’ve heard Brad (Arthur) talk about it, so it’s a tricky one how to approach but in the end we need to concentrate on what we can control and that’s what we’ve done this week,” he said.
"We haven’t spoken too much about how they’re feeling or how they’re going to bounce back, it’s just concentrating on what we can control.
"We haven’t got the two competition points yet and that’s what it’s all about in the end. We need to find those two competition points no matter how we get it. We just need to find a win.”
Eels centre Jarryd Hayne is set to continue his recent trend of spending time in the fullback spot, which Flanagan expected to happen based on the first few rounds.
"If you watch the game closely he’s been doing that [playing the fullback role] a fair bit in the first two rounds, especially offensively probably not defensively which has taken a little bit out of Jarryd," he said.
"He’s had to defend in that front line so I’m not quite sure where they’ll put him defensively but over the last couple of weeks as soon as they get the ball he’s back at fullback."
Gallen is a definite starter and Flanagan was bemused by reports suggesting the veteran lock would sit out the game.
"When you’re getting a bit older sometimes you don’t train at the start of the week but I knew he’d play," he said.