The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Cronulla has been boosted by the announcement that coach Stuart Raper has re-signed with the club for a further two years. Raper has coached the Sharks to a 6-2 record this season, with the team sitting in equal first position on the ladder.
2004 was Raper's first season as head coach, returning from the English Super League to take over from sacked Chris Anderson. Although Cronulla failed to make the finals in 2004, strong recruitment and a focus on defence has propelled the club into contention this year.
Earlier rumours had linked Raper with a job at Parramatta, but these, evidently, have turned out to be unfounded.