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New Cronulla Sharks hooker Adam Clydsdale’s chases new NRL opportunity with Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart’s blessing
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Incoming Cronulla Sharks hooker Adam Clydsdale has left the Canberra Raiders with the blessing of Ricky Stuart as he kickstarts his bid to win a regular NRL spot.

Clydsdale made the move to Sydney on Monday and will report to Sharks training on Tuesday after being released on the stroke of the June 30 deadline.

The Raiders have slumped to 12th after a fourth consecutive defeat, while the Sharks are sitting pretty in second place and in the frame to win back-to-back premierships.

The Sharks are fighting a hooking crisis – James Segeyaro (arm) and Jayden Brailey (jaw) are both injured, while they have released Daniel Mortimer (Leigh) and Manaia Cherrington (New Zealand).

Clydsdale could play for the Sharks in round 19 against the Gold Coast following the bye, and has the chance to haunt the Raiders in round 22 when Canberra’s season could still be on the line.

The 24-year-old rake leaves the capital with the blessing of Stuart, who wasn’t going to hold Clydsdale back from the chance to play more first grade.

“I had a good couple of years here, I learned a lot, especially off Ricky Stuart,” Clydsdale said.

“I really respect the man, I have a lot of time for him. Before I actually went I had a good chat to him about it to see what he thought about it.

“I rang him up and asked him what I thought. He told me his honest opinion and I really appreciated that. He could have said ‘I need you here’ but he’s just said ‘if it’s an opportunity you should take it’.

“I greatly appreciate that he gave me his honest advice.”

Clydsdale spent the first three seasons of his NRL career in Newcastle where he played 40 NRL games before joining the Raiders.

He was stuck behind English international Josh Hodgson and Kurt Baptiste in Canberra, and only played limited minutes in his 17 appearances for the Raiders.

The Raiders signed Clydsdale’s release forms on Friday morning before the captain’s run – a session starting hooker Hodgson failed to get through with a calf strain.

Clydsdale says “it was a tough decision” to leave Canberra but the opportunity that presented itself in the Shire was too good to let go.

“Obviously it was a bit tough, me and my girlfriend are settled in down here but an opportunity like this, I can’t turn it down,” Clydsdale said.

“I learned a lot off Stuart, I’ve learned a lot off [Hodgson] as well, so I’ve made a lot of good friends down here as well. It was obviously tough to leave but it was a good opportunity.”

Clydsdale may only have to wait a month to lace up the boots against the Green Machine when the Sharks host the Raiders in round 22.

The Raiders are currently battling to keep their season alive and will need to win at least six of their last eight games to have a chance of playing finals football.

The Sharks are entrenched in the top four and Clydsdale could spoil the Green Machine’s season if it’s still alive at the back end of the year.

“Obviously there’d be a bit more to it but it’s just another game of footy and another chance to prove myself,” Clydsdale said.

“I just want to get up there and showcase my skills and show the club what I have. I look forward just to settling in there and playing some footy.”

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