Josh Morris has been in stunning form at Cronulla. Picture: Craig Golding/AAP
Josh Morris has been in stunning form at Cronulla. Picture: Craig Golding/AAP

With Morris defying his age, Freddy may come knocking

SO JOSH Morris the Sharkie might get a phone call from the head of the state.

You mean the 32-year-old who this time last year had prepared himself that his 2019 home would most likely be in the north of England - not North Cronulla beach?

Put Morris into the ever-expanding album of NRL stars who get better with age.

Because at his new home at centre for the Sharks, the former Test and NSW Origin representative is turning back the clock.

Enjoying his best season since 2015, Morris could be NSW coach Brad Fittler's solution out wide.

Not only is Morris making more line breaks and tackle busts, he is scoring tries at his best rate since his semi-final season with Canterbury in 2015

Most importantly, he is producing the best defensive numbers of his entire 13-year career.

It makes for compelling reading for the unflappable Morris, who played 14 Origins for the Blues from 2009 until 2016 and will chalk up NRL game 273 against Manly at PointsBet Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Morris is pushing for a recall to Origin this year. Picture: Gregg Porteous
Morris is pushing for a recall to Origin this year. Picture: Gregg Porteous

A player who has always let his actions do the talking, Morris puts his flawless Shire move, after a decade at the Bulldogs, down to professionalism, increased strength in the gym and clean service from humming Sharks halfback Chad Townsend.

"I'm working with a new high performance team for me and with a change-up of my weights, I've really enjoyed that aspect of getting into the gym and lifting heavy,'' Morris said.

"I feel like I'm more powerful so that translates to speed as well.

"I also think our left edge is playing some really good footy. Chad has justifiably been mentioned for Origin and he's really steered our side around in the absence of Shaun (Johnson).

"I just think we're enjoying playing footy with each other and through that we're managing to score some tries.

"Off the field, having a daughter (Cali, 1) has also helped me stop thinking about footy when I go home.

"I was probably guilty of reading the papers too much when I was younger, especially around Origin time.

"But now I'm playing with my daughter instead of reading papers.''

Morris said his arrival at Cronulla had proven a blessing with his experience invaluable for a Sharks side currently rocked by injuries.

"I'm glad it all happened (moving to Cronulla),'' Morris said.

"(Last year) I thought that the most likely option was that I was going overseas.

"Then I had a meeting with Flanno (former Sharks coach Shane Flanagan) and that was it.

"I'm really enjoying the fresh change. This is a squad with a good mix of age, experience, but some good young kids coming through.

"And that's where I can help as well , to try and help a bloke out like Bronson Xerri or Kyle Flanagan, I'm really enjoying it.''

J-MOZ TURNING BACK THE CLOCK

Missed Tackles - 0.9 per game. Lowest of entire career.

Tackle busts - 2.3 per game. Best since 2015.

Line breaks - 8 after 9 games with average 0.9 per game. Best since 2015.

Tries - 5 in 9 games. Best strike rate since 2015.

News Corp Australia


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