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Flanagan units sights on Maroons playmaker to assist preserve Hunt a cheerful Dragon

Shane Flanagan desires to deliver Tom Dearden to St George Illawarra as he believes the off-contract half will assist preserve Ben Hunt on the Dragons relatively than function the veteran’s alternative.

Only one month into the highest job on the Dragons, Flanagan has made his intentions identified of wanting to draw top-line expertise to Wollongong.

The premiership-winning Cronulla coach maintains the Dragons are solely three signings away from being the soccer aspect he desires, pointing to comparable strikes he made early in his time on the Sharks.

Flanagan made early waves by declaring his curiosity in Joey Manu, however now concedes it’s unlikely any membership would have the ability to lure the Kiwis star away from the Sydney Roosters.

Addin Fonua-Blake does stay a precedence with the prop having requested a right away launch this month earlier than being talked into staying for 2024.

Dearden is one other goal for Flanagan with the 22-year-old off contract at North Queensland on the finish of subsequent season and already a free agent capable of area presents from rivals.

“Tommy’s similar to Joey (Manu), in that if he decides I wish to take a look at the market …he is aware of that we’d love to speak,” Flanagan advised AAP. 

“He’s a younger half, performed Origin. Acquired the world at his toes. 

“He may very well be the long run halfback of this membership for an additional 5 – 6 years. It could be foolish to not examine if he’s in the marketplace. 

“I don’t know if he’s open to shifting, we’ve spoken, however Tom is a unique younger child as nicely. He doesn’t just like the fanfare and the media and all that type of stuff. 

“We’ll respect that and when and if the time comes, nicely we’ll do our greatest.”

Dearden’s signature may theoretically permit the Dragons to facilitate Hunt’s exit, given the halfback’s well-known want to be launched from the ultimate two years of his contract to return to Queensland. 

However Flanagan made clear that was not the case.

Tom Dearden runs the ball for Queensland

(Picture by Chris Hyde/Getty Photos)

He firmly maintains Hunt’s want to go away will be fastened with outcomes on the sector and the recruitment of gamers like Dearden would show the membership is headed in the suitable route.

“Ben could be that excited to have Tommy right here on the membership,” Flanagan mentioned.  “Ben’s frustration with the membership is like many different individuals and plenty of different supporters that we haven’t been successful. 

“Ben wears his coronary heart on his sleeve. And he’s the captain of the membership that hasn’t accomplished rather well. So it weighs closely on him. However each dialog from day one with Ben, I’ve mentioned I’m not going to launch him and there’s by no means been an argument of why or how. 

“It’s at all times been ‘I perceive Flanno, let’s transfer ahead’.”

Flanagan additionally insisted Hunt remained the suitable man to be Dragons captain, regardless of the knocked-back request.

“He has the respect of the enjoying group,” Flanagan mentioned.  “They had been a bit upset about what occurred final yr, however he’s acquired the respect of the enjoying group  as a result of he’s acquired the runs on the board.

“He’s performed for his nation. In huge moments for the Dragons he can give you some huge performs.”




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