‘A little bit uncomfortable’: Braydon Trindall to make NRL return for the Sharks after pleading guilty to driving charges

News, Australia, Sport, Cronulla Sutherland Sharks, Rugby League, TAS News

Cronulla coach Craig Fitzgibbon says halfback Braydon Trindall has learned a painful lesson and has backed him to step up in Nicho Hynes’ absence as the Sharks look to bounce back from a heavy loss at home when they face Parramatta on Thursday night.

Trindall will return to the starting side for the first time since he failed roadside alcohol and illicit drug tests on April 22, with the Sharks star pleading guilty to the charges this week which saw him fined $1100 and disqualified from driving for three months.

The NRL issued Trindall a breach notice on Tuesday afternoon, with the game’s governing body likely to hand down their own punishments next week.

“It’s been a little bit uncomfortable, to be honest, with the ‘what if we put him back in? What if we don’t?’ and all that sort of stuff,” Fitzgibbon said.

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“We’ve landed on the fact that he’s playing this weekend and getting him as best as he can prepared for this game.

“What he has done behind the scenes is do everything possible to prove to the NRL that he’s learned a lesson, and a painful one at that. He’s working hard on himself and it won’t happen again.”

A remorseful Trindall addressed the punishments handed down to him in a statement on the Sharks website.

“I understand the serious mistake I made by getting behind the wheel on that Monday morning, with my actions potentially putting other drivers and people on the road at risk,” he said.

“I am deeply remorseful, apologise to the club, my teammates, Sharks members and fans and to the NRL for the negative headlines I have created, and now accept the punishment handed down by the court. I have learnt some valuable lessons from this incident.

“Moving forward, I look forward to putting this behind me and to repaying the Sharks for the faith they have shown me and for the support they have provided.”

Fitzgibbon praised the talented playmaker for taking accountability and the way in which he has taken steps to learn from his serious mistake.

“It’s been a five-week process and he’s really invested in himself and he took accountability and responsibility for getting it wrong, and he’s gone about putting a process in place to ensure when he comes back to the group, he’s super ready,” he said.

“He’s looking sharp, he’s looking fresh and he knows that he’s got an opportunity on his hands to get back into the group.

“His training has been really good and we’re excited to have him back.”

Trindall and halves partner Daniel Atkinson will have to stand tall with Hynes and Cam McInnes away on Origin duty as the ladder leaders look to respond swiftly following their hiding at the hands of the Panthers.

“Both have got strong kicking games so they’ll complement each other,” Fitzgibbon said.

“Tricky hasn’t played in five weeks as well so it’s about getting out there and keeping it simple, getting back to the basics of what a half can do.”

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