Wade Graham

Graham will be back: Bird

Bird – who missed the entire 2015 Origin series due a lifting tackle in the May Trans Tasman Test – knows better than most the disappointment Graham will be feeling but said he had already thrown some encouragement the way of the Sharks back-rower.

"It's disappointing but at the end of the day you can't do anything about it. You've just got to get rid of it from your thoughts and just focus on enjoying his time while he's in camp and getting back here when he gets his next opportunity," Bird said.

Blues embrace 'brick wall' Frizell

However centre Michael Jennings has praised the man brought into the squad to replace him in Dragons forward Tyson Frizell.

Graham was unable to beat the charge arising from an awkward tackle on Cowboys playmaker Johnathan Thurston at the judiciary on Wednesday night. Loading and carry-overs from a separate incident last year pushed him just over the 100-point threshold meaning he misses one game – cruelly, it lines up with what was to be his Origin debut next Wednesday night.

Graham reflects on rollercoaster two years

A methodical recruitment drive over the past few years has seen the likes of seasoned campaigners James Maloney, Luke Lewis and Michael Ennis join the club to link up with some of the game's brightest talent to form one of the best-rounded squads in the NRL.

The result? Eight straight wins to have locals thinking twice about turning the porchlight on for Harold Holt. 

Their success in 2016 is incredible when you consider where the club was positioned two years ago. 

Graham backs his skipper to play on in 2017

While Gallen announced that this year would mark the end of his representative career with the New South Wales Blues, the inspirational lock forward has given no indication as to whether he'll run out for his beloved club again in 2017. 

Gallen has played 267 games for the Sharks since making his debut back in 2001 and has shown no signs of slowing down, averaging 147 metres per game this season.