NRL talking points: Shaun Johnson the latest injury for Cronulla Sharks

Jenna Brooks has the latest from the NRL as Cronulla and Manly suffer big blows, plus the latest on Jack de Belin’s future.

Injury news

Cronulla’s injury crisis continues, with Shaun Johnson added to the long list of sidelined players at the Sharks.

Johnson limped from the pitch during the first half of Saturday’s defeat to Brisbane with a torn hamstring, which is likely to rule him out for at least a month.

“When he walks off with that amount of pain you wouldn’t expect it to be a minor complaint so fingers crossed,” Sharks head coach John Morris said.

Johnson joins Matt Moylan, Aaron Woods and Wade Graham on the sidelines.

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Manly and Queensland have suffered a huge blow too. Daly Cherry-Evans underwent surgery on his right ankle and is expected to be out for up to six weeks.

The Sea Eagles captain, who is one of the favourites to succeed Greg Inglis as skipper for the Maroons, suffered the syndesmosis injury during Sunday’s 24-20 win over Canberra.

The State of Origin opener is just over a month away, so Queensland coach Kevin Walters would have to select Cherry-Evans before the half-back has returned at club level.

Elsewhere, Canberra’s Jordan Rapana has suffered a rib injury and will be out for one to two weeks.

Nikorima future

It looks like Kodi Nikorima is about to leave Brisbane for New Zealand.

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold revealed that Nikorima has been made a huge offer by the Warriors to join them as soon as possible.

The half-back is on approximately £135,000 a season, but it’s understood the Auckland-based side would more than double that for a four-year deal.

“The Warriors have offered him a substantial deal for four years and Kodi has got a young family to consider and has taken a couple of days to go through that process. We will revisit that after tomorrow night’s game,” Seibold said.

Nikorima, who has been with the club since he was 12 years old, will not play in that game against South Sydney. Instead, the Broncos will give him the time to consider his future.

Jack de Belin update

It looks like Jack de Belin will be made to wait for a decision on his immediate future.

The St George Illawarra forward was stood down indefinitely under the controversial ‘no fault’ stand-down policy, established earlier this year, after he was charged with aggravated sexual assault.

Despite pleading not guilty, under the new rule the NRL can stand down any player charged with a serious crime which carries a jail term of 11 years or more.

He will be stood down until the completion of his court case, which could take up to two years.

The player is in the process of challenging the ARL Commission and the NRL in Federal Court, and a decision was expected this week, with the Dragons hoping to name their star player in the team to play Parramatta this weekend.

If De Belin, who continues to train with his team, should overturn the no-fault stand-down policy, he could return in time for the NRL’s inaugural Magic Weekend at Suncorp Stadium next week.

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