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Mercurial winger Nathan Blacklock re-signed with the Dragons today to resume doing what he loves most of all ? scoring tries.
Blacklock, who was granted a release from his NSW Rugby Union contract on Friday, finalised arrangements with the Dragons for the remainder of the 2003 season this morning and immediately started training with the club.
?We are happy to see Nathan Blacklock back at the Dragons even though he left us mid-season last year,? Doust said. ?Anyone who knows Nathan, knows he is passionate about his footy and his personal life. Last year was difficult for him from a personal point of view.
?Sometimes when you get into personal difficulty you make decisions about change because you need change, but in hindsight realise you?ve gone in the wrong direction. Nathan said that rugby league gives him the freedom to score tries as much as he loves to do.?
Doust said Blacklock?s contract with the Dragons had been approved by the NRL and the payments would not put the club in excess of the salary cap.
?Our position with regard to the future for Nathan has to be clarified as we work through our salary cap position,? Doust said. ?The priority has been to get him back into rugby league and playing with the freedom he thrives on.?
Dragons coach Nathan Brown included Blacklock, who scored a record 27 tries for the Dragons in the 2001 season, in the NRL squad training today, but he will train with the Premier League side tomorrow.
?We have two wingers in front of him in our NRL side who have been playing well in Amos Roberts and Hassan Saleh,? Brown said. ?We all know what Nathan is capable of but he will have to play his way into first grade through Premier League.
?I?m very happy he?s back with us ? he?s a great asset for the club and the NRL. More importantly, it?s the best thing for Nathan Blacklock. He?ll be doing what he really loves.?
Blacklock said he was very grateful to the club and the team for welcoming him back.
?I am very excited about playing rugby league again,? Blacklock said. ?It?s where my heart is. I feel like I?ve come home and I can?t wait to play this weekend. I won?t let anyone down.?