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Dragons prop Jeremy Latimore.

St George Illawarra forward Jeremy Latimore believes Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan should stick with Matt Moylan at fullback for Friday night's derby at WIN Stadium.

Latimore, who played for the Sharks last season and spent four seasons with Moylan at the Panthers, said his former teammate was one of the best fullbacks in the Telstra Premiership and Flanagan had the option of Trent Hodkinson at five-eighth.

Hodkinson has played in the halves with Chad Townsend for the past three matches, with Moylan sidelined for two of those and returning from injury at fullback last Friday night after the late withdrawal of Josh Dugan.

The former Panthers captain was the third fullback used by the Sharks in the opening five rounds and with Dugan expected back for the match against his former Dragons teammates, Flanagan faces a selection dilemma.

''They've had a bit of change in their spine, which makes it hard for them to get consistency in the way they are playing,'' Latimore said.

''Personally, I like the spine they have got now. I reckon it is the best with Matt at the back.

''I played with him for a number of years at Penrith and he is great at the back, and Hodko seems to be doing a good job in the halves to take some pressure off Chad.''

Sharks utility Matt Moylan.
Sharks utility Matt Moylan. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

After their best start to a season since the formation of the St George Illawarra joint venture in 1999, the Dragons have no selection issues and coach Paul McGregor has been able to keep the same starting line-up in each of their five wins.

The interchange bench has also remained virtually unchanged, with Hame Sele replacing Latimore in the round-three defeat of Gold Coast Titans, while Leeson Ah Mau, Kurt Mann and Luciano Leilua have played every game.

With the club's Intrust Super Premiership team also winning their last three matches, Latimore said the competition for places from the likes of Sele, Jacob Host and Blake Lawrie was keeping him on his toes.

''You are a bad game or two away from getting dropped to reserve grade so it does help you and inspire you each week,'' he said.

''Even out on the training paddock no one is taking a backward step, so that is good.''

With no injuries, Mann has not been needed for his utility value and has been playing out of position in the middle as a prop or lock.

''It's showing a lot of faith to play someone my size in the middle having never played there before. I'm really happy to have that opportunity,'' Mann said.

''Everyone's playing out of their skin so it's hard to push for a starting spot because the team's playing such good footy.''


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