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Dykes returns to the fold
A "warm" welcome waits for former Eels pivot Adam Dykes when the Cronulla Sharks open their NRL pre-season schedule.
The Sharks unveiled their 2005 season countdown on Tuesday - starting with a February 5 clash against Dykes' ex-club Parramatta at Lismore.
Dykes, 27, ended a frustrating three-season stint at Parramatta by organising a release from his final year to return to Cronulla where he turned heads from 1995-2001.
Hampered by injury at Parramatta, he played just 38 games.
The former NSW City Origin five-eighth expects plenty of attention from his ex-teammates when Cronulla takes on the Eels as part of a three-match pre-season schedule.
Gone are Chris Beattie, Matt Bickerstaff, Dean Bosnich (France) and Paul Franze (Panthers).
Coach Stuart Raper announced his pre-season training squad which includes returning stars David Peachey, Jason Stevens, Danny Nutley and Michael Sullivan.
"We are changing the focus of our pre-Christmas training somewhat from the last few years," strength and conditioning coach Trent Elkin said.
"We will be doing a lot of strength, speed and skill components rather than just conditioning work."
The only players missing from pre-season training is Australian halfback Brett Kimmorley and Kiwi centre Nigel Vagana due to Tri-Nations duty.