You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Matt Moylan is all but guaranteed to start the year as Cronulla's five-eighth on the back of an impressive pre-season.

Coach John Morris confirmed Moylan, who has played just 19 games in two seasons due mainly to hamstring issues, is set to replace Shaun Johnson as he recovers from an Achilles injury.

Provided Moylan is able to stay on the park, Morris will consider moving him when Johnson returns in round five at the earliest.

"If Matt can get off to a real good start and can get a number of games at six, I'm sure you could slot him right in at fullback," Morris said at a media conference to announce a sponsorship deal with Aramex that the Sharks believe may provide an opportunity to take a match to Dubai.

"He's had a fantastic pre-season, which is really pleasing, given the challenges he had last year [playing eight games].

Graham: New faces bring fresh perspective

"He's trained nearly every session and is absolutely flying."

At 29 and off-contract, Moylan knows 2021 is crucial for his career. The early signs are good after working with renowned sprint coach Roger Fabri to overhaul his running technique.

He's also altered his weights program and lost a couple of kilograms.

"I've done a pre-season in the halves now, so I'm just trying to build on that and whatever happens after that happens," Moylan said.

"Obviously Shaun's going to come back from injury. I think that decision [about Moylan's role] will be made down the track."

The ex-Panther added: "It's pretty important that I can bank a fair few games this year and play some good footy.

I've put the work in now and I feel like I've got a good foundation

Sharks star Matt Moylan

"[A contract] is not really something I'm focused on. I'm more worried about trying to get out there and playing. Just trying to get the body right and building those combinations over the pre-season."

Moylan is set to reignite Chad Townsend, having helped Cronulla to the 2018 preliminary final alongside him.

Braydon Trindall, Luke Metcalf and Connor Tracey are other playmaking options, though Tracey has trained strongly at fullback.

Asked if he still believes he's got more to give in his career, Moylan answered with a resounding yes.

"I've put the work in now and I feel like I've got a good foundation and base to build off," he said, adding that he's benefitted from doing more running over the summer as opposed to other years.

"I think it was just more trying to get on top of [the injuries] and building a solid foundation. I don't really have to worry about it.

"Obviously it took a bit longer than I would have liked, but hopefully I can keep building on what's happened over the pre-season."

Cronulla CEO Dino Mezzatesta said the new sponsorship deal would open fresh doors for the club.

Analysing the Sharks' 2021 draw

The Sharks played a pre-season trial against Canterbury in Papua New Guinea last year and with Aramex having their head office in Dubai, Mezzatesta said the Middle East was another region the club was keen to visit.

"If you remove COVID and we are back into normality where travel is open, I think it would be an exceptional opportunity not just for the Sharks but for the code to be able to showcase rugby league in the Middle East, where you have got some amazing organisations," Mezzatesta said.

"I think with the relationship that we now have and with the NRL, and their influence, and the government and their influence we might be able to play there.

"We could do an exhibition match against an English club or maybe there would be an opportunity to have a trial game in the future. We will certainly look at it, we won’t leave it in the cupboard."