CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14: Cameron McInnes of the Dragons in action during the round 19 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the St George Illawarra Dragons at GIO Stadium on July 14, 2017 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

St George Illawarra has announced that Dragons hooker Cameron McInnes has extended his stay with the club for a further three seasons.

McInnes, who was off-contract at the end of 2018, will now remain at the Dragons until at least the end of the 2021 Telstra Premiership season.

With skipper Gareth Widdop locked away until 2021 and incoming recruit Ben Hunt signed until at least the 2022 season, McInnes’s retention brings further stability to the Dragons’ spine for the years to come.

“Cameron had an outstanding season in 2017. A lot of people don’t see what he does away from the playing field. He’s one of our best trainers and a future leader of our club,” Director of Rugby League Pathways Ian Millward said.

“2017 was his first full season in the top grade, playing 80 minutes every week too, and he’s acknowledged there are areas of his game that he wants to continue to improve.

“With Cameron at hooker, and Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop in the halves, we’re in a position now where we are very settled with world class players.”

McInnes joined the club ahead of the 2017 season and has found a home at the Dragons over the past year.

The 23-year-old has so far played 63 NRL games and made his representative debut for City Origin earlier this year.  The Botany Rams junior also topped the tackle count (1155) competition-wide in 2017.

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“I’ve only been here for 12 months but it’s been the best year of my footy life. It was a no-brainer for me and I wanted to stay for as long as I could. It’s going to be good moving forward knowing that I have that stability,” McInnes said.

“This is just the beginning. I really want to work harder towards bigger and better things. For us I think the top four is in reach for us so I just need to keep playing the best footy I can.”

The re-signing of McInnes is another boost for Red V following the signings of Hunt, James Graham, Jeremy Latimore, Mitch Allgood and Darren Nicholls for the 2018 season.

It follows the likes of Widdop, Euan Aitken, Jack de Belin, Paul Vaughan, Tim Lafai, Kurt Mann, Jason Nightingale, Jai Field, Jacob Host, Blake Lawrie and Luciano Leilua who have extended their deals with the Dragons over the past 12 months.

St George Illawarra Dragons 2019 Player Movements

2019 Gains
Eddie Blacker (2019), Hayden Lomax (2019), Lachlan Maranta (2019), Corey Norman (Parramatta Eels, 2021), Jonus Pearson (Brisbane Broncos, 2020), Mikaele Ravalawa (Canberra Raiders, 2020), Jason Saab (2022), Korbin Sims (Brisbane Broncos, 2021), Lachlan Timm (Melbourne Storm, 2019)
2019 Losses
Leeson Ah Mau (New Zealand Warriors), Reuben Garrick (Manly Sea Eagles), Patrick Herbert (New Zealand Warriors), Nene Macdonald (North Queensland Cowboys), Kurt Mann (Newcastle Knights), Jason Nightingale (retired), Hame Sele (Penrith Panthers)
Mitchell Allgood (2019), Matthew Dufty (2021), Josh Kerr (2019), Jeremy Latimore (2019), Luciano Leilua (2020), Zac Lomax (2020), Cameron McInnes (2021), Jordan Pereira (2021)
Off Contract 2019
Mitchell Allgood, Eddie Blacker, Jai Field, Josh Kerr, Jeremy Latimore, Blake Lawrie, Hayden Lomax, Joe Lovodua, Lachlan Maranta, Steven Marsters, Darren Nicholls, Reece Robson, Tristan Sailor, Lachlan Timm
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    • I think AC got you on that one daffy, it’s Souths. Also check what I had to say when he was signed by the Dragons. I said he was a decent player though not great, a hard worker but lacked flair or x-factor but always gave 100% and never went missing defensively and he wouldn’t let the Dragons down. Was I wrong?

  1. Surprised me for sure…
    I was certainly not a fan but he definitely earnt his stripes.
    Highest tackle count in the comp…

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