Sharks captain Paul Gallen already declared three weeks ago that he hopes to play on in 2018. Now, his head coach, Shane Flanagan, has revealed that the feeling is mutual.
According to AAP, Flanagan has confirmed that the Sharks are already in negotiations with Gallen’s management on an extension, and that they’re “not looking at his birth certificate” (which is fortunate, as it’s probably written on a scroll. Because he’s really old.).
“He’ll definitely play again next year,” said Flanagan. “We’re well and truly down the track of talking to his management, and that’ll be resolved in the next couple of weeks.”
“We said to Gal that when the time was right, and he felt it was right, and he was playing well, and he wanted to play again, that we’d do it.”
You can understand, given the salary cap pressure facing the Sharks, that they’d be hesitant to commit to an aging star. However, Gallen’s form in 2017 has been among the best of his career, and at this point, keeping him on should be a no-brainer.
Gallen has played 292 first grade games for the Sharks, 24 Origins for New South Wales, and 32 Tests for Australia.