I want Trindall back playing for Sharks ASAP: Hynes

Jasper Bruce |

Cronulla’s Braydon Trindall appears to be vying for an NRL return.
Cronulla’s Braydon Trindall appears to be vying for an NRL return.

Nicho Hynes wants Braydon Trindall back playing NRL “as soon as possible” but is unsure whether his troubled teammate or Daniel Atkinson will be Cronulla’s first-choice five-eighth once he is ready.

Trindall allegedly failed roadside drug and alcohol tests while driving on an expired licence on April 22 but has since returned to training after being stood down by the Sharks.

Trindall has not been sanctioned by the NRL nor suspended under its no-fault stand-down policy so he can be selected for games.

The 24-year-old is due to face court on May 28 but was on stand-by for Cronulla’s Magic Round clash against the Sydney Roosters, with Hynes spending last week under an injury cloud.

Hynes pulled up fine from a calf issue and guided his ladder-leading side to a 38-30 win but Trindall’s inclusion in the extended squad was the clearest sign yet he is nearing his NRL comeback.

With the Sharks’ support, Trindall has been consulting specialists to improve his mental health and Hynes said a return to play would do him good.

Nicho Hynes
Nicho Hynes wants to see Trindall back playing footy. (Jason O’BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS)

“I want him to be back as soon as possible,” he said.

“It’d be hard for him sitting there watching his team win all these games of footy and he’s not a part of it. 

“He’s got to get his mental health right and when he’s playing footy, that’s when he’s his happiest. Hopefully he gets back on the park very soon.”

Trindall’s absence has given Atkinson the chance to start in the halves for the past four games, all of which have ended in Cronulla victories.

Daniel Atkinson (l) has impressed in Trindall’s absence. (Jason O’BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS)

Atkinson had made only two first-grade appearances this time last month, but had a breakout game when guiding the Sharks to a gutsy win over Melbourne while Hynes was injured two weekends ago.

The Sharks halfback sees his younger self in his eager teammate.

“(Atkinson) is the sort of player that just wants to learn,” ex-Storm playmaker Hynes said.

“He probably annoys me that much that sometimes. It’s just like, ‘Give me a break!’ 

“But that’s just who he is, and that’s what I did as a young fella, I’d pick Billy Slater’s brain, I’d pick Cameron Smith’s brain or Cameron Munster’s.”

Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon appears to have a tough selection call on his hands once Trindall is ready to play again.

Trindall has spent four previous seasons toiling away for an opportunity as a first-choice half at the Sharks, but with Atkinson in the side, Cronulla have scored their two most significant wins of the season against the Storm and Roosters.

“Tricky put us in a good position to be where we are and next man up, Atko, comes in and does just as good a job,” Hynes said.

“What Tricky’s done for us and where he’s worked so hard to get to, a little slip up for him, which he’s going to learn his lesson from. 

“Whether that means he doesn’t get straight back into our team, I’m not sure.

“They’ve both earned their right to be in our 17 each week. We’ll just see what happens.”