Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
NSW Origin prop Jason Ryles has accepted a reduced contract to extend his relationship with the Dragons a further three years, agreeing to terms today until the end of 2007.
Ryles, 25, currently preparing for his Origin comeback after a career-threatening shoulder injury in Origin 3 last year saw him sidelined for 10 months, said a number of factors contributed to him staying for less.
?After missing so much time with injury I felt I owed it to the club to stay and play some good, consistent football,? said Ryles, a Berkeley/Wests Wollongong junior.
?I also made sure guys like Luke Bailey, Trent Barrett and Shaun Timmins were going to be around. We will have a very good competitive side for another couple of years.
?I could possibly have looked to go to a less competitive side for extra, but I chose to take less than I was on the previous three years because this side is capable of anything, I?m comfortable here and I?m looking forward to a full season playing with Luke Bailey.?
Bailey has been sidelined for the season with a chest muscle tear. Ironically a similar chest muscle tear to Bailey in 2001 gave Ryles his regular first grade start, but neither have played a full season together - and have played only about 30 games together since his debut in 2000.
Ryles was one of four players to agree to terms today with Michael Henderson, 19 (Griffith Waratahs junior), Bryan Norrie, 20 (Yanco), and Wes Naiqama, 21 (Arncliffe Scots), all agreeing to one-year deals.
Winger Reece Simmonds, 24, a St Andrews Eaglevale junior, is expected to agree to terms in the next few days.
The Dragons have recently also re-signed Illawarra juniors Mathew Head, 22 (2006); Justin Poore, 19 (2006), Dean Young, 20 (2006), and Ashton Sims, 19 (extended one year to 2006).
Fullback Clint Greenshields, 22 (Sawtell junior), who made his NRL debut with the Dragons this year, has agreed to terms with the club for a further 12 months, becoming the fifth player to finalise their contract today - others include Jason Ryles, Michael Henderson, Wes Naiqama and Bryan Norrie.