PREVIEW 🔍 Robert Crosby looks at what to expect in Sunday night's second State of Origin clash.
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The St George Illawarra Dragons have today announced the re-signing of NRL and NYC Captains Ben Creagh and Craig Garvey.
Creagh, 28 has resigned for two years, with the option of a third and Garvey, 20, has signed a two-year contract with both remaining at the club at least until the end of 2015.
Creagh, a local junior from the University of Wollongong club, made his first-grade debut for the Dragons against the New Zealand Warriors in round 22 of the 2003 season and has played 207 NRL games to date.
The representative forward is delighted by the opportunity to remain with his childhood Club as well as continuing to wear the famous Red V jersey.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be given another contract which I’m really happy about,” said Creagh.
“I’m a local junior having played for the Club all my life and I want to finish my career here.
“I am really proud to be the Captain of this famous Club, I love everything associated with it and didn’t want to go anywhere else.
"I am definitely excited knowing that I will be remaining here with the Dragons and in the local area."
Garvey recently represented New South Wales in the Under 20’s State of Origin match against Queensland and is a tough hooker who joined the Dragons High Performance Unit in 2010.
“I’m very excited, I really wanted to stay with the Dragons and it is good to know that I am here for at least the next two years and I am thankful to the Club for the opportunity,” said Garvey.
“I have learnt so much from the coaches and players here and really enjoy the opportunities to learn from the senior guys and know what levels of commitment and professionalism are required to make it to the NRL and that is definitely what I am working towards.”
Dragons CEO Peter Doust is pleased by the re-signing of both team Captains and outlined their importance to the Club.
“Ben has played first grade for 10 seasons, represented the game at all levels and is an outstanding leader whom everyone respects,” said Doust.
“Ben epitomises the modern day sporting role model with his commitment and professionalism to his rugby league, his University studies and small business venture (Smart Fox) aimed at educating youth.
“Ben instigated the ‘Graduates of League' program with the University of Wollongong to increase university entry, retention and completion rates of elite athletes and professional sports people and the results and involvement of rugby league players, not just at the Dragons but also other clubs, is outstanding.
“His dedication and attitude to everything he undertakes is first class and everyone at the Dragons is delighted that he has chosen to finish his career where it started as a one-club man.
“Craig is a rising talent who has developed through our rugby league pathways to be the current Captain of our NYC Team and a key performer in this competition who thoroughly deserved his selection in the NSW Blues U20s this year.
“Craig certainly attracted plenty of interest from other clubs but we see him as playing a key part in our future and are very happy to have secured him for at least the next two seasons”.
Dragons Head Coach Steve Price was equally as delighted with the retention of Creagh and Garvey.
“Ben has been an outstanding individual for our football club since he came into the organisation,” said Price.
“It’s great to have him on board as he’s just an outstanding leader and I cannot say enough good things about him.
“Craig is a talented and exciting player who was outstanding for our NYC team last year and just keeps on improving.
“It is very pleasing for the football club going forward to have retained Craig.”