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Sharks back Fifita to make up for suspension

Andrew Fifita's Sharks teammates say the prop is desperate to atone for his suspension with a stirring performance on his return against the Rabbitohs.

Fifita missed last week's relieving win over the Cowboys after his shoulder charge on Warriors forward Lachlan Burr the previous round.

The momentum-changing incident led to Fifita being sin-binned and the New Zealand club snatched victory at the death, handing Cronulla a fifth consecutive defeat.

Sharks co-captain Wade Graham said there was no need for the Tongan international to apologise to the team but expected the front rower to fire against South Sydney at PointsBet Stadium on Saturday night.

"He's had a week off to think about it. He's coming off the bench for us this week so we'll be looking for a reaction from the big fella," Graham said of Fifita, who was suspended for three games for a crusher tackle earlier this year.

"We know when he's on, he's one of the best players in the comp. We're going to need Andrew Fifita at his best if we're any chance of playing in September. He wears his heart on his sleeve, for good and for bad."

Halfback Chad Townsend added: "He took it pretty hard and felt like he let a lot of us down … He wants to get back out there and make up for it, for sure."

Matt Moylan and Graham were also named to face the Rabbitohs after hamstring issues, with Cronulla to finally field their strongest side.

Sharks finally full-strength

Graham has made just three NRL appearances in 2019, having sat out the opening 12 weeks due to a torn ACL suffered in last year's finals.

After being rushed into the NSW State of Origin team for game two and contributing heavily, a hamstring strain in the decider has sidelined Graham for the past three rounds.

The unfortunate run follows a disjointed 2018 season full of niggling problems but the 28-year-old feels no trepidation about his body failing again.

"I'm not worried about the hammy. We put the work in," Graham said.

"The game's hard enough as it is. You've just got to trust in your work and get out there. Once you cross the line it's on, if you break down along the way, you break down. That's the game."

Graham admitted it was strange to celebrate the Blues' Origin series triumph knowing he was resigned to the casualty ward for a few weeks.

"It was weird for me because I was stoked to be part of the series win but I knew I was injured and going to miss another chunk of footy," he said.

"It is what is is. [I was] back to work the next week down here at Sharks and just been working ever since."

Sitting one point outside the top eight in 10th place, the Sharks host four of their last six matches at PointsBet Stadium.

Cronulla will move their home fixtures away from the Woolooware venue for the next two years because of redevelopments to the adjoining Leagues Club. A temporary base has yet to be confirmed.

But with Shark Park still available for now, Graham believes the string of games there is a big advantage leading into the playoffs.

"It works out well for us. It's always good to play here. Unfortunately we haven't been able to get the job done all season, but we're looking to change that," Graham said.

"It helps that not only are we here, we're in Sydney the whole time too … We need to really put our foot down if we're going to be a chance."

Star Rabbitohs second rower Sam Burgess is set to play for the first time since round 13 following complications from minor shoulder surgery.

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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