2024 Preview: St George Illawarra Dragons

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Justin Davies assesses the year ahead of the mighty Red V - St George Illawarra.

The start of the season is usually a time for hope to spring eternal for all 17 teams in the NRL competition, but there is a feeling of dread which is on the mind of St George Illawarra Dragons fans.

They have ushered in a new coach in Shane Flanagan, who they hope might repeat the success he had at their local rivals Cronulla. He is starting to mould the team into his own shape, but it might take time to get some results.

The Red V have had an interesting off-season with Talatau Amone being deregistered, Ronald Volkman's signing being cancelled due to injury, and the Sword of Damocles that is Ben Hunt returning to Queensland.

Their recruitment has been underwhelming with Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Hame Sele and Tom Eisenhuth the biggest catches. Corey Allan was another useful cog before he went down with injury in pre-season, but it there isn't much change at the Dragons to inspire hope.

A positive for Dragons fans is the first eight weeks sees them alternate between two away and home games, and also they won't be embarrassed at Magic Round, with a bye scheduled for that weekend.

Otherwise, 2024 is a season which doesn't promise much and hopefully won't end with a kitchen utensil.

Why they'll win it

Seriously? Well, if somehow, they Monstar some of the skills from the other NRL teams ala Space Jam which is infused into the bodies of the Dragons, it might lead them to success.

Success for the Dragons in 2024 seems like it might be avoiding the spoon, answering some of their pertinent questions at fullback and the halves while developing some of the youngsters.

Why they won't

Looking through the Dragons roster, there is pieces there but there isn't enough for them to rocket up the NRL ladder and be in the finals.

They will be flat out avoiding the first spoon in Joint Venture history and gaining some trust back from jaded fans who have sat through some terrible football in recent years.

Player movement

2024 GainsHame Sele (South Sydney)
Kyle Flanagan, Raymond Faitala-Mariner (Canterbury)
Tom Eisenhuth (Melbourne)
Corey Allan (Sydney)
Christian Tuipulotu (Manly)
Jesse Marschke (North Sydney)
Contracted for 2024*Alec Tuitavake, Ben Hunt, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Blake Lawrie, Christian Tuipulotu, Cody Ramsey**, Corey Allan, Daniel Russell, Francis Molo, Hame Sele, Jack de Belin, Jack Bird, Jacob Liddle Jaydn Su'A, Jesse Marschke, Kyle Flanagan, Mathew Feagai, Max Feagai, Michael Molo, Mikaele Ravalawa, Moses Suli, Paul Turner, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Ryan Couchman, Savelio Tamale, Sione Finau, Toby Couchman, Tom Eisenhuth, Tyrell Sloan, Viliami Fifita, Zac Lomax
2024 LossesJayden Sullivan (Wests Tigers)
Zane Musgrove (Warrington)
Jaiyden Hunt (Brisbane)
Billy Burns (Cronulla)
Talatau Amone (deregistered)
Nick Lui-Toso (Wests Magpies NSW Cup)
Tautau Moga (retired)
Tyrell Fuimaono (unsigned)
DevelopmentJackson Shereb, Josh Coric, Hamish Stewart, Dylan Egan, Connor Muhleisen, Corey Ackers

Key players

The Dragons success boils down to how well their halves can gel. Kyle Flanagan gets the nod alongside Ben Hunt after Talatau Amone was deregistered. If Flanagan can take some heat off Hunt it might give the Dragons some success.

One of the other big question marks is fullback. Tyrell Sloan has been a lightning rod for Dragons since his debut. He has a big chance to cement himself this season under the new regime otherwise he might face a challenge from Zac Lomax and others in the squad.

Up front, the Dragons pack has to find a way to punch through teams. Too often in 2023, they were on the back foot early and couldn't gain much ground. They have brought in Hame Sele and Tom Eisenhuth to help bolster their pack.


There are a few youngsters to watch for the Dragons headed into what might be a tough slog of a 2024 campaign.

Savelio Tamale has played for the Blues U19s side and was solid in his work in NSW Cup and has been rewarded with a top 30 contract for the season.

Viliami Fifita was a part of the swap deal with Manly that saw Aaron Woods head the other way and the youngster will be out to impress.

Alec Tuitavake was the other member of that deal and he will be keen to find a spot in the 17 headed into the season.

Predicted 17

1. Tyrell Sloan
2. Zac Lomax
3. Moses Suli
4. Jack Bird
5. Mikaele Ravalawa

6. Kyle Flanagan
7. Ben Hunt

8. Hame Sele
9. Jacob Liddle
10. Blake Lawrie
11. Tom Eisenhuth
12. Jaydn Su'A
13. Jack de Belin

Interchange: 14. Dan Russell 15. Toby Couchman 16. Francis Molo 17. Raymond Faitala-Mariner

2024 fixture list

All times Sydney local (AET)

PRE 1Sat 8:05pmFeb 17thASouthsNetstrata
PRE 2Sat 8:05pmFeb 24thHWests TigersGlen Willow
R1Sat 6:35pmMar 9thAGold CoastCbus Super
R2Sun 5:15pmMar 17thADolphinsKayo
R3Sat 5:30pmMar 23rdHNorth QLDNetstrata
R4Sat 5:30pmMar 30thHManlyWIN
R5Fri 8:05pmApr 5thANewcastleMcD. Jones
R6Sun 4:05pmApr 14thAWests TigersC'town
R7Fri 6:00pmApr 19thHWarriorsWIN
R8Thu 7:50pmApr 25thHSydneyAllianz
R9Sun 4:05pmMay 5thACronullaPointsbet
R10Sat 5:30pmMay 11thHSouthsNetstrata
R11May 17-19BYE
R12Thu 7:50pm
May 23rdACanterburyAccor
R13Sat 5:30pmJun 1stAPenrithBlueBet
R14Fri 8:00pmJun 7thHWests TigersWIN
R15Sun 2:00pmJun 16thAManly4 Pines
R16Jun 20-23BYE
R17Sun 2:00pmJun 30thHDolphinsNetstrata
R18Sun 2:00pmJul 7thASydneyAllianz
R19Sat 7:35pmJul 13thABrisbaneSuncorp
R20Jul 19-21BYE
R21Sun 2:00pmJul 28thHPenrithWIN
R22Sat 5:30pmAug 3rdAMelbourneAAMI
R23Sat 7:35pmAug 10thHCanterburyNetstrata
R24Sun 2:00pmAug 18thHGold CoastWIN
R25Sun 4:05pmAug 25thHCronullaWIN
R26Sat 3:00pmAug 31stAParramattaCommBank
R27Sat 3:00pmSep 7thHCanberraNetstrata