The St George Illawarra Dragons' new coach, Shane Flanagan, has confirmed that he is interested in recruiting Connor Tracey for the 2025 season.

The interest in Tracey comes after Flanagan revealed to that he's concerned with the lack of options at fullback the Dragons currently have.

While Tyrell Sloan will likely begin the season in the number one jersey, it is understood that Zac Lomax may also be trialled at fullback.

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This comes after the Dragons have only played in the NRL finals series twice in the past ten years, including not finishing in the top eight since 2018.

Determined to make the club reach its goal of playing in the finals, the new head coach believes it has been a tough recruiting class. Just like Tracey, he has also shown an interest in signing Sydney Roosters and New Zealand superstar Joseph Manu.

“It's definitely been tough, it's been real tough,” Flanagan told

“We want to make sure we get quality players at our club, and some quality ones come off in 2025, but because of the Dolphins and different things that happened, there's not a lot of players on the market.”

“I don't think he'll leave the Roosters but I've spoken to (his manager) and if he was considering leaving and wanted to have a crack at fullback then we'd love to talk to him,” Flanagan said on Manu.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 17: Connor Tracey of the Rabbitohs looks to pass during the NRL trial match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Wigan at ANZ Stadium on February 17, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

It has been revealed by News Corp's Brent Read that Tracey has in fact asked for a release "a few times" from the Sharks.

Tracey has been used virtually everywhere in the backline for the Sharks and shapes as a strong option for a club like the Dragons.

Seemingly driving his request for a release from the Sharks is the fact he has, at times, struggled to find consistent playing time, making just ten appearances in 2023.

He is stuck behind the likes of Ronaldo Mulitallo and Sione Katoa on the wing, Siosifa Talakai and Jesse Ramien in the centres, and Braydon Trindall and Nicho Hynes in the centres at the Sharks.

He finished playing 2023 at fullback and found strong form, but will be back behind William Kennedy at the start of 2024.

“He's a guy that we've been following for a while.. there are some clubs circling him,” News Corp journalist Brent Read told Triple M at the beginning of October.

“St. George Illawarra and Shane Flanagan is one of them and probably the big one. He's (Tracey) now got permission to talk to rival clubs about 2025 as he has a year to go on his deal.

“He's asked for a release a few times now from the Sharks but Cronulla are digging in their heels saying, ‘no you aren't going to go, we are going to keep you next year' but he's now got permission to speak to rival clubs for 2025.

“I'd be stunned if he's not at the Dragons.

“I think the other reason why Cronulla are reluctant to let him leave is because they have him in the right price. They aren't paying him the earth. If he was to test the open market, he'd get a pretty healthy pay rise.”

Tracey, who debuted in 2019 with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, has made 66 NRL appearances.