Sharks' Xerri back in NRL faster than ever

Cronulla centre Bronson Xerri (l) says he's picked up even more speed for the NRL resumption.
Cronulla centre Bronson Xerri (l) says he's picked up even more speed for the NRL resumption.

One of the NRL's fastest men will return to rugby league even quicker with Cronulla centre Bronson Xerri claiming he's shaved down his sprint times.

Xerri will make his return for the Sharks on Saturday against Wests Tigers, having overcome a shoulder injury that ruled him out of the opening two games before the coronavirus shutdown.

The centre believes he is faster than he was when he last played in September, after training during lockdown working with sprint coach Roger Fabri.

Renowned as one of Australia's best sprint coaches, Fabri works with the likes of Damien Cook and cricketer David Warner.

"Basically that whole period off I was just doing sprint training and working on my game," Xerri said.

"He (Fabri) helped me a lot.

"I think I am a lot faster than I was this time last year. I can't wait to show that on Saturday.

"When I came back first day back with the boys, they tipped me up and said I was looking a lot faster and quicker."

Xerri is already regarded as one of the game's quickest, clocked at 34.5km/h in his debut game last season.

The 19-year-old is still developing his game but burst onto the NRL scene with 13 tries in 22 games.

That was before a lockdown spent sprinting alongside Josh Addo-Carr and former teammate Kyle Flanagan.

"Training with Roger three times a week, you are going to see a massive improvement," Xerri said.

"I think he timed me from my first session to my last session, and it was a massive improvement.

"Even in my technique, Roger said my technique was unreal and how much I have improved."

Saturday night's match will mark another coming of age for the Sharks in the centres.

Xerri and Jesse Ramien will pair up for the first time, after long being considered two of the most exciting young talents at the club.

Ramien spent last year at Newcastle but rejoined Cronulla and will play on the right with Xerri on the left, after the exit of Josh Morris.

"I'm super keen to get out there with Bronson," Ramien said.

"I'm a bit older than Bronson, so we haven't played together.

"He'd often play before us and was often a standout."

Australian Associated Press