The Sharks' Aaron Woods warms up before Friday night's NRL sem-final against Penrith. Picture: Craig Golding/AAP
The Sharks' Aaron Woods warms up before Friday night's NRL sem-final against Penrith. Picture: Craig Golding/AAP CRAIG GOLDING

Woods looms large as replacement for injured Gallen

CRONULLA is sweating on news from Paul Gallen's shoulder scans following Friday night's epic semi final win over Penrith, but they have a ready-made replacement in Aaron Woods.

That is Jayden Brailey's assessment, anyway.

The young gun hooker who stands shoulder to shoulder with the Sharks' big-boppers in the middle third says their mid-season buy is ready to fill the void.

"Probably Woodsy," Brailey replied, when asked who would most likely fill Gallen's boots if the premiership-winning skipper was ruled out for the season.

"He's been good for us off the bench and he'll probably be in the starting line-up if Gal's out ... he's been going really well for us."

Brailey, 22, still in only his second season in the NRL, said Gallen would be a "big loss" but he reckoned the Sharks still had enough firepower in the forwards to worry the Storm.

"(Gallen) plays a big role in our team and he'd be a big loss for us," Brailey said.

"Probably (we'd miss) his leadership more than anything. He always puts his hand up for those tough carries - he'd be a big loss for sure. But Woodsy would probably come into the starting pack if he is out.

"We're lucky we've got a good forward pack and I'm sure some of the older boys will step up and take that leadership role off him and try and lead us around the park."

Woods said he expected Gallen to be running out at AAMI Park next week, but would take on a leadership role if called on.

"We'll just take it day by day," he told foxsports.com.au.

"Gal, I'm sure he'll back up and get his body right. He's an absolute professional so I expect him to play.

"He brings a lot of leadership, his talk, his work ethic and just his experience, so hopefully he gets there.

"If they need me I'll put my hand up and if not it is what it is."

News Corp Australia


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