James Segeyaro trained with his Cronulla teammates for the first time on Wednesday morning, but appears unlikely to run out for the NRL side this weekend.
The 27-year-old was formally welcomed to the team in a brief on-field meeting on Wednesday, marking his maiden appearance at top-grade training since brokering a release from Leeds.
His contract is still pending finalisation from the NRL, however given he hasn’t played a game since the end of last season he could still do so through reserve grade for Newtown.
That appeared more likely after Wednesday’s training session, where coach Shane Flanagan kept current No.9 Jayden Brailey in the chief hooking role.
By comparison, Segeyaro had the lesser share of dummy-half duties with Manaia Cherrington while in attack with largely reserves in an opposed session.
His biggest impact of the morning came when he charged down a Chad Townsend kick, slightly injuring the Sharks playmaker.
Townsend stayed down, but recovered and completed the rest of the session.
Segeyaro’s arrival at the club has the potential to cause a real headache for coach Shane Flanagan.
Segeyaro was the Dally M hooker of the year in 2014 when he helped Penrith to the preliminary final, but Brailey’s development is continuing nicely in first grade.
After debuting in round one, Brailey played 80 minutes for the first time in Sunday night’s 16-10 loss to St George Illawarra.
Segeyaro has come off the bench in 67 of his 103 NRL games, but was at his best at the Panthers in 2014 as an 80-minute player in the second-half of the season.
“It’s going to be a good headache for Flanno to have,” Sharks forward Latimore said.
Latimore played with Segeyaro for three-and-a-half seasons at the Panthers, and believes the lively dummy-half would add plenty at the Sharks.
“We’ve got a couple of players who promote the footy in terms of offloads and I reckon that’s when he’s at his best, playing off broken play,” Latimore said.
“He will be out ready to prove he can still play.”
Segeyaro was forced to spend more than a month training on his own after attempting to break his contract with English Super League club, Leeds, with two seasons still to run.
He was only granted permission by the NRL last week to train with the Sharks, and he initially joined Newtown players in practice before linking with the top squad on Wednesday.
He was on Tuesday named at No.21 on an extended bench for Saturday’s clash with Parramatta, with Brailey at No.9.