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A number of surprise omissions marked the announcement of Cronulla's twenty five man squad yesterday as coach Stuart Raper opted for a youth rather than experience. Jason Kent, Pat Gibson and Andrew Emilio - who have all spent considerably periods of time in first grade - were the most notable names missing from the list.
Eighteen year old prop forward, Jon Green, was the biggest surprise inclusion. Green, who arrived at Cronulla via Western Australia, is joined in the squad by fellow youngsters Russell Aitken and Keith Galloway. New recruits Nigel Vagana, Nathan Merritt, Ryan McGoldrick, Andrew Lomu, Michael Russo and Hassan Saleh also made the cut.
The full Cronulla Sharks squad list for 2004 is:
Fullback: David Peachey
Wingers: Matthew Rieck Nathan Merritt Hassan Saleh
Centres: Nigel Vagana Ryan McGoldrick Paul Franze
Five Eighths: Greg Bird Russell Aitken
Halfbacks: Brett Kimmorley Michael Sullivan
Back rowers: Matt Hilder Paul Gallen Keith Galloway Sam Isemonger Matt Bickerstaff Michael Russo Phil Bailey Andrew Lomu
Front rowers: Jason Stevens Danny Nutley Chris Beattie Dale Newton Jon Green
Hookers: Dean Bosnich