Cronulla Sharks captain Wade Graham is confident that he has found a new tackling technique to help him avoid further concussion issues.
Graham sustained three separate concussion last season in the NRL, with all of them occurring as he tackled an opponent, raising questions about his approach to the physical side of the game - with the Sharks 10/11 to secure a top-eight spot this season.
However, he feels that he has now adapted, although he may still miss the start of the new campaign due to an ankle ligament injury, as he told AAP: "It's frustrating because I was ready to go.
"Worst case if it's grade-three and surgery, it will be six or so weeks. But I am not feeling too bad, so hopefully I can be back soon."
Meanwhile, of the work he has put in to try and avoid the problems which plagued him last season, Graham added: "I have worked hard, really hard, on a lot of things like my footwork and my contact.
"Even the thought process in the contact, my tackle selection more than anything.
"It's more just working on footwork patterns and decision-making under fatigue and tackle selection under fatigue. We get a lot of repetition, repetition, repetition. I've done the work and I feel good."
Cronulla narrowly missed out on a place in the Finals Series last season, ending up ninth place in the regular-season standings.
Twelve months earlier they reached the Finals, only to fall at the first hurdle to Canberra Raiders, while they lost at the same stage in 2019, this time to Manly Sea Eagles.