NRL rookie Charlie Leaeno heads an impressive list of talented players to re-sign or join the Dragons for 2007 and beyond.
The latest recruitment waves takes the Dragons contracted players to over 90 and of these latest 22 signings, 13 are local juniors from across our region including the South Coast.
Leaeno, 20, scored two tries on his NRL debut and went on to play six games in first grade before having his season cut short with shoulder injury. The Hurstville United junior has re-signed with the Dragons until the end of 2008.
Leaeno?s brother Malcolm, who also plays front row has also been signed for the 2007 season along with Kevin Naiqama, a winger/fullback from Arncliffe Scots, younger brother to NRL winger Wes.
Three players from Endeavour High School?s ?Arrive Alive Cup? winning team have also signed or had their contracts extended - Matthew Mundine (Earlwood Saints,) - winner of the ?Peter Sterling Medal? in the Arrive Alive Cup Final has signed until the end of 2010, Dean Whare (Arncliffe Scots) until the end of 2009; Chase Stanley (Hurstville United) until the end of 2008 and his brother Kyle also for two years.
Jersey Flegg 2006 ?Player of the Year? Jason Nightingale (Renown United) has been extended until the end of 2007 along with his Jersey Flegg co-captains, hooker Brad Davidson (Kiama) and lock Brian West. Fellow team-mates centre Keith Lulia (Port Kembla) and back rower James Jiminez (Shellharbour) have also resigned for next season.
Jersey Flegg front rower Matt Prior (Thirroul) and second rower Luke Muttdon (Kiama), who will tour England with the Australian Schoolboys, have been extended until the end of 2008.
From outside the Dragons; Adam Peek a front rower with NRL experience from Parramatta has signed for one year along with South Sydney lock Ricardo Young. Patrick Rosser (Parkes) a second rower and 2006 NSW Residents representative will also join the squad for 2007.
Back rower Rhys Lovegrove who captained the 2005 Endeavour High School Rugby League Team will join the Dragons for two years from Cronulla along with Rangi Chase from Wests Tigers who will cover the hooker, half and five-eight positions over the next two seasons.
Three members of the Australian Institute of Sport?s rugby league squad will also join the Dragons from outside our region having completed high school ? fullback Kurt Behan (Dubbo), back rowers Dane Hogan (Brisbane) and Jacob Marketo (Brisbane) have all signed for two years. Front and back rower Wes Suckly (Coonabarabran) has also signed with the Dragons until the end of 2008 however will remain in his hometown to complete his schooling.
Dragons Management are also in the process of discussing upgrades and extensions to the contracts of Ben Hornby, Danny Wicks, Brett Morris, Josh Morris, Dan Hunt and Lagi Setu who are presently signed until the end of 2007.
The Dragons 2007 Full-Time Squad for 2007 is as follows:
? Tony Caine ? Rangi Chase ? Matt Cooper ? Ben Creagh ? Brad Davidson ? Mark Gasnier ? Mathew Head ? Tom Hewitt ? Ben Hornby ? Chris Houston ? Dan Hunt ? Sam Isemonger ? James Jiminez ? Charlie Leaeno ? Rhys Lovegrove ? Keith Lulia ? Luke MacDougall ? Scott MacDougall ? Brett Morris ? Josh Morris ? Wes Naiqama ? Jason Nightingale ? Corey Payne ? Adam Peek ? Justin Poore ? Pat Rosser ? Jason Ryles ? Beau Scott ? Lagi Setu ? Ashton Sims ? Danny Wicks ? Richard Williams ? Simon Woolford ? Dean Young ? Ricky Young