Cronulla coach John Morris indicated Josh Dugan's immediate future is on the wing following the rapid rise of rookie backs Bronson Xerri and William Kennedy.
Morris moved Dugan to the wing to accommodate Kennedy's NRL debut at fullback in last week's 24-20 defeat of Penrith, while 18-year-old Xerri has played right centre in the last three matches.
With Xerri scoring a stunning 65 metre try against the Panthers and also throwing the final pass for Dugan to score, he appears likely to remain in the spot for now. Morris will reassess the situation when Matt Moylan returns from injury.
"There is no doubt that Duges probably prefers centre or fullback but it is like I say to all of our team, it is not about the number on your back, it's about the emblem on the front," Morris said.
"For this interim period that's the best fit for our team, with Will Kennedy at fullback and Matt Moylan is back in a couple of weeks so we will see where the cards fall then."
Standing at 189 cm tall and weighing 102kg, Dugan gives the Sharks size on the wing and will mark up against Brisbane's Corey Oates in Saturday night's match at Suncorp Stadium.
Dugan is also a target for cross-field kicks and grubbers from five-eighth Shaun Johnson, while Morris said he would assist Xerri in defence.
"I wanted Duges to go there and play outside Bronson and support him, to defensively stiffen us up and give us a real good carry out of yardage," Morris said.
"This week he is opposite Corey Oates so it's two big bodies on each other and I just feel he has got a vital role for us there."
Morris has been happy with the progress of Xerri since his debut against Parramatta in round four. He believes he can build a strong right edge partnership with Dugan.
"Bronson has played centre all his life, he has got the ability to play both sides of the field so I was really happy that Josh passed the ball to Bronson for a try and then Bronson passed the ball to Josh for a try," Morris said.
"They've got a good little combo that is starting to develop and with Bronson he is only a couple of games into his career and we are rapt with the way he is going so hopefully he can play consistent footy."
The Sharks will be without right second-rower Briton Nikora, who is suspended for a dangerous throw, but Morris said Scott Sorensen was a capable replacement.
"I was 50-50 between Brit and Scott leading into round 1," he said. "That's how close Scott was so we won't lose too much there. Scotty will come in and do a good job."