Barrett and Timmins cleared to play
this weekend

Dragons internationals Trent Barrett and Shaun Timmins have been cleared to play their first games of the 2003 Telstra Premiership this weekend in the round five clash with Manly Sea Eagles at WIN Stadium.

Barrett, 25, and Timmins, 26, passed fitness tests at Jubilee Oval this morning then also learned they had been named in the NSW Origin squad, along with Dragons team-mate Luke Bailey.

Barrett broke his ankle and injured his knee on February 2 during the World Sevens - coincidentally against Manly; while Timmins last played on September 1 against the Roosters before having an operation on his right knee.

Timmins admitted to being nervous for this Sunday's match after completing his first full training session with the team today in seven months.

“I will have only had one week to prepare really; most guys get six months,” Timmins said. “I'm a bit nervous, but at the same time I'm really looking forward to it, especially playing at Wollongong.

“It's been tough going through this for a second time; there were times when I thought about chucking it all in. I went through the same thing after my other knee operation - you go through a stage of feeling sorry for yourself.

“I always knew it would come good though; it's just a long haul going through the rehab pretty much on your own while everyone else is training.”

Meanwhile, the St George Illawarra Dragons have not had any official talks with current NSW Waratahs rugby union player Nathan Blacklock, who has expressed interested in returning to the club.

Dragons Chief Executive Peter Doust said Blacklock had spoken informally with coach Nathan Brown and himself about the possibility, but there were a lot of issues to be addressed.

“We would be interested in speaking with him if the opportunity was there for him to come back,” Doust said. “He always said he would only be a Dragon if he played rugby league but there are a lot of issues to be addressed.

“The primary issue is his relationship with the Waratahs and his responsibility to them. Until the Waratahs reach a view on their position we have nothing further to say about it.”