Cronulla Sharks have officially rejected Josh Morris’ request for an immediate release of his contract in order to join brother, Brett, at the Sydney Roosters.
Fox Sports had reported that the 33-year-old was hoping to join the back-to-back premiers after the Sharks secured the signing of centre Jesse Ramien from Newcastle, thus pushing Morris out to the wing.
However, the Shire Club have confirmed that they have rejected the request to release him from his current deal, with Coach John Morris telling the veteran centre that he was an integral part of his plans for the 2020 season.
It is now expected that Morris will start at fullback for the early stages of the new season as Matt Moylan is struggling to overcome a hamstring issue.
Since making his debut in 2007, Morris has played in 286 NRL games, 15 State of Origin clashes and made six appearances for the Kangaroos.
Cronulla have said that he is expected to start somewhere in the backline each week, whether that be at fullback, centre or on the wing.
“Josh Morris is our most experienced player and he will be here in 2020,” John Morris said.
“There is an option there for him to take up a deal to play with his brother but as head coach of the Sharks, I have got to make sure I put out a competitive team on the park every week that can win us games and hopefully win the Grand Final.
“What are we to do, let our most experienced guy walk out 32 days before the competition starts? I think our members and fans deserve better than that.”
The former Kangaroos player has been announced in the Sharks squad for the NRL Nines this weekend.