‘Medical retirement?’: How John Morris’ brutal chats with Sharks veterans sparked player unrest

Sharks coach John Morris is reportedly dealing with some player unrest due to some tough conversations with underperforming veterans Andrew Fifita and Matt Moylan.

Morris was denied a contract extension that his management requested beyond 2021, with The Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield revealing the issues facing the third-year NRL coach.

“I feel very sorry for John Morris because he was left with overpaid, underperforming players,” Rothfield said on The Big Sports Breakfast.

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“I’m talking about Matt Moylan, Josh Dugan and Andrew Fifita. He also lost Josh Morris this year and Bronson Xerri.

“Still in his two years at the club he has taken them into the top eight.

“But he is off contract next year, so his management have gone and asked for an extension and the Sharks have knocked it back.

“As I understand it they are going to wait 10 weeks into next season before making a decision and just see how the Sharks are travelling.

“I think this is a dangerous story when coaches futures are debated in the media as his will be it will have a very unsettling effect on the football team.”

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Moylan played just eight games in 2020 and just 19 over the last two seasons due to form and fitness, while Fifita played just 12 games last season.

Rothfield revealed the tough conversations Morris had with Moylan and Fifita over their inability to reach the fitness levels required to be regular contributors and even floated the idea of medical retirement.

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“There is all this talk about John Morris losing the sheds and the support of the senior players,” Rothfield said.

“I think this story is correct, but I applaud John Morris for the reason this has happened.

“What he did was he went to Matt Moylan and said if you can find another club go find one. And he read him out his performance review for the last two years and it has been ordinary.

Matt Moylan played just eight games in 2020.Source:Getty Images

“He also went to Andrew Fifita and said, you are struggling with your knee and you can’t keep your weight in order and you are struggling to train let alone play.

“Have you thought about medical retirement?

“And players don’t like being asked these tough questions or being told the truth.

“Wade Graham is best mates with Moylan and it unsettles players and Aaron Woods is close to all these boys and this is the problem they get.

“But John Morris is doing his job. He’s right these boys needed to have the chat.”

Originally published as‘Medical retirement?’: Morris’ brutal chats with Sharks veterans sparked player unrest

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