Ross sees Sea Eagles feeding Cronulla
CRONULLA has emerged as a potential NRL feeder option for the Sunshine Coast.
Coast export Ben Ross, who finished his distinguished top-flight career at Cronulla this year, revealed he had spoken to Sharks chief executive Steve Noyce about the possible arrangement.
Ross plans to speak with Sunshine Coast chief executive Chris Flannery - his former Queensland teammate - when he visits the region next month in his capacity as Cronulla's new ambassador.
The Sea Eagles are desperate to link with an NRL club again after the ARL Commission's recent decision to lift the dual registration ban.
The ban prevented the Sea Eagles from being used as a feeder club.
"It's something I would like to see happen," Ross said. "I only see the positives - not only for the Sunshine Coast, but also the Sharks, if they were to go on board with them."
A joint Cronulla-Melbourne side won the NSW Cup this season, but Ross said that arrangement was not ideal.
"It's better to have a Q Cup team all to ourselves - get the Coast involved in first-grade and Sharks players going back down," he said. "It will just be a better experience for the boys and gives them hope of making first grade."
The Sunshine Coast has a large junior league base, and Ross's new role is heavily centred on junior development. He plans to meet with junior league officials next month.
"Amazing talent comes out of the Sunshine Coast each year and it's a place that needs to be harnessed for rugby league," he said.
The Daily revealed last week that Coast-based former Melbourne star Scott Hill planned to speak to the Storm about the possibility of it using the Coast as a feeder organisation.
Flannery said the Storm, Canterbury and Manly - the Coast previously had a successful feeder arrangement with the latter - had been identified as the wooden-spooner's best bets for striking a deal with before next season.
The ex-Roosters star has spoken with Manly, Roosters and Newcastle officials, but admits inking a feeder deal shapes as a "hard sell".
"If Ben says he can do it, I'd be willing to listen, that's for sure," he said.