Why ‘filthy’ Morris wants out of Sharks
VETERAN centre Josh Morris was "filthy" on the Cronulla Sharks when coach John Morris signed Jesse Ramien from the Newcastle Knights.
Morris has now asked for a release to play the final year of his career at the Sydney Roosters, alongside his brother Brett.
The 33-year-old Origin star raised his concerns late last year with Morris, according to his agent David Riollo.
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"Josh was disappointed the club signed someone above him," Riolo said.
"Nothing at all against Jesse but, as a senior player, it can be hard to take. But that's life and Josh just got on with it although he was pretty filthy. We flagged it with the club back then.
"Again, it's not Jesse. The club made the decision which they are entitled to do."
The Roosters want him as a replacement for rookie Billy Smith, who had been earmarked to replace Latrell Mitchell in the centres.
Riolo says Morris was reluctant to ask the Sharks for the release.
"He agonised for four days about approaching them," Riolo said. "He likes John Morris and he loves the players.
"He wants to go because he wants to finish his career with his brother and play in his preferred position as a centre. That's all this is about."
Riolo insists there is no financial gain to switch clubs.
"The Roosters are prepared to pay exactly what he is on at the Sharks," Riolo said.
"He's got a contract at Cronulla and he respects that but the conditions have changed. He was signed as a centre but understands nothing is guaranteed.
"An appealing opportunity came up and that's what he wants to do."
Fox Sports' James Hooper reported the Sharks would block the request to quit. This is despite the fact Ramien and Bronson Xerri would be the preferred choices as starting centres for the opening of the season.
The Sharks are also dealing with the delicate situation surrounding $900,000 outside back Josh Dugan.
"We still waiting for a response from the club," Riolo said. "It's not right that we are reading about in the media."
Morris is just 14 games shy of becoming a 300-game NRL player at Sharks, Bulldogs and St George Illawarra Dragons since he started in 2007.
Cronulla's head of football Phil Moss was unavailable for comment Monday night. Josh Morris declined to comment.