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NRL Profile: St. George Illawarra Dragons

With only Wests Tigers finishing below them on the NRL ladder in 2023, there’s plenty of work to be done at St. George Illawarra Dragons to get back to playing finals football in 2024.

Managing just five wins during the league campaign from their 24 outings, it really is back to the drawing board for the Dragons as they look to make up ground on their rivals over the months to come.

Head coach Shane Flanagan has a big job ahead of him to make the Dragons competitive once again, as their odds of 81.00 to win the grand final in 2024 highlight.

A long way back to the top

The Dragons have managed to reach the grand final on two occasions in their history, losing their first visit 20-18 at the hands of the Melbourne Storm back in 1999.

It was to be a glorious return to the grand final in 2010, as the Dragons produced one of the most emphatic final victories to blow away the Sydney Roosters 32-8 at Stadium Australia back in 2010.

That night in Sydney is getting more distant by the year and the 2023 campaign was a far cry from the season that saw the Dragons lift the trophy in front of over 82,000 spectators in their last grand final visit.

Before even considering reaching a grand final in 2024, the focus for Flanagan and his squad will be on getting back to the finals.

The Dragons are 6.50 to finish in the top eight next season, while they are 1.11 to miss out once again.

Key players

The Dragons have been boosted by the news centre Moses Suli has penned a new three-year deal that will see him stay at the club until 2027.

Suli is set to be a key figure in the backline next season, while another big campaign can be expected of skipper Ben Hunt at hooker.

Hunt was the only representative from the Dragons to feature in the 2023 State of Origin series and the veteran will be hoping to lead a turnaround for his club side in the coming months.

New signings

The Dragons have been busy over the off-season, with the likes of Hame Sele, Kyle Flanagan, Tom Eisenhuth, Corey Allan all making the move to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

Allan’s arrival should give the Dragons backline a significant boost after penning a one-year deal at the club after his release from the Roosters.

Opening fixtures

The Dragons kick-start their 2024 NRL campaign on 9th March with a visit to the Gold Coast Titans.

Flanagan’s side are 2.90 to make a winning start to the season, while the Titans are available at 1.42 to claim the spoils on home soil.  

The Dragons travel to the Dolphins in Round 2 on 17th March, before their first home game of the season on 23rd March, with the North Queensland Cowboys the visitors to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

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