SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 01: Darren Nicholls of the Panthers scores a try during the 2017 State Championship Final between the Penrith Panthers and Papua New Guinea Hunters at ANZ Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The St George Illawarra Dragons have finalised their Top 30 squad for the 2018 Telstra Premiership season following the signings of Darren Nicholls and Mitchell Allgood.

Halfback Nicholls joins the Red V from the Penrith Panthers on a two-year contract, which will tie him to the club until at least the end of the 2019 season.

The 28-year-old – who has previously featured at the Wests Tigers, Rabbitohs and Broncos – skippered the Panthers’ Intrust Super Premiership side in 2017 to an NRL State Championship victory over the PNG Hunters.

Director of Rugby League Pathways Ian Millward anticipated that Nicholls’s experience and ambitions will hold him in good stead at the Dragons.

“We head-hunted Darren to come on board for the reason that he is a very experienced halfback. He’s been at a couple of NRL clubs now and he’s probably been the best player in the Intrust Super Premiership and Cup over the last couple of years,” Millward said.

“We looked at him for a number of reasons. One because we are anticipating Ben Hunt may play State of Origin in 2018 and we also wanted to make sure we had a person who’d be good for our younger guys like Jai Field, Tristan Sailor and Jackson Willis.

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“Darren has a real aspiration to play in the NRL and we believe he is the sort of person that can step up and play first grade on a regular basis.”

Allgood will join the Dragons on a one-year deal following a three-year stint in the English Super League at Hull KR (2015-16) and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (2017).

A veteran of 70 NRL games during his time with the Parramatta Eels (2011-14), Allgood also represented the City Origin team in 2012.

“Mitchell is someone who will come in with NRL experience and someone who wants to prove himself. On a one-year contract, Mitchell has to come out of the blocks and show us that he deserves to be in the NRL with the Dragons,” Millward said.

“There was plenty of thought put into Mitchell in terms of his age, experience and his position. On top of James Graham and Jeremy Latimore as well as Mitchell, they all have experience which will help the young front-rowers coming through the ranks.”

Nicholls and Allgood’s signings completes the Dragons’ Top 30 squad ahead of the 2018 season.

St George Illawarra Dragons 2018 Player Movements

2018 Gains
Mitchell Allgood (Wakefield Trinity, 2019), Jackson Ford (2020), James Graham (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 2020), Ben Hunt (Brisbane Broncos, 2023), Jeremy Latimore (Cronulla Sharks, 2019), Joe Lovodua (2019), Darren Nicholls (Penrith Panthers, 2019)
2018 Losses
Josh Dugan (Cronulla Sharks), Siliva Havili (Canberra Raiders), Drew Hutchison (Leigh Centurions), Chris Lewis (released), Mose Masoe (Hull Kingston Rovers), Will Matthews (Gold Coast Titans), Tyrone McCarthy (Salford Red Devils), Josh McCrone (Toronto Wolfpack), Taane Milne (Wests Tigers), Shaun Nona (Brisbane Broncos), Russell Packer (Wests Tigers), Joel Thompson (Manly Sea Eagles)
Euan Aitken (2020), Jack de Belin (2020), Jacob Host (2020), Timoteo Lafai (2020), Blake Lawrie (2022), Kurt Mann (2021), Jason Nightingale (2018), Tristan Sailor (2019), Paul Vaughan (2022), Gareth Widdop (2022)
Off Contract 2019
Mitchell Allgood, Eddie Blacker, Jai Field, Josh Kerr, Jeremy Latimore, Hayden Lomax, Joe Lovodua, Lachlan Maranta, Steven Marsters, Darren Nicholls, Reece Robson, Tristan Sailor
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  1. Nicholls is an interesting signing. He has played at several clubs and always been highly rated. But he is almost 29 and still hasn’t made his first grade debut. Bit of a late bloomer perhaps.

  2. Quite ironic Mitch Allgood signs with Dragons when Matai has retired this year, it must be safe for him to play in the NRL since shoulders has retired.

  3. Darren Nicholls is a fine player who gives his all, he was captain at Norths for a few years and played in 49 games.
    He got to play in a Charity Shield Match for Souths.
    He may well go down as a player who played in the Charity Shield from both sides of the fence without actually playing a First Grade game at all.

    A good solid Reserve Grade/Park player who has now notched up at least 100 games in the Reggies!

  4. Always love watching Allgood play,never unerstood why Parra let him go,same as Lusick from Manly.Both mad as cut snakes,game needs more off them

        • Chalky
          Totally agree
          Just look at the players and Coaches he has played under as part of the NRL squads
          Bennett , Maguire , Griffin , Ben Hunt Anthony Milford at Broncos , Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker at Souths
          Cleary and Moylan at Penrith ,
          Give him a chance to shine , What have the dragons got to lose.

      • Allgood was always a bit of a hot head, prone to do stupid things. Good depth signing at prop though, and if he has the rubbish out of his game he could be a good bench player for you guys.

  5. Could look something like this:

    1. Matt Dufty (Kurt Mann)
    2. Nene MacDonald
    3. Euan Aitken
    4. Tim Lafai
    5. Jason Nightingale
    6. Gareth Widdop
    7. Ben Hunt
    8. James Graham
    9. Cameron McInnes
    10. Paul Vaughan
    11. Tyson Frizell
    12. Tariq Sims
    13. Jack De Belin

    14. Mitch Allgood
    15. Joel Thompson
    16. Jeremy Latimore (Tony Williams*)
    17. Leeson Ah Mau

    Wouldn’t mind seeing the Dragons have a go at Tony Williams. Would come cheap and offers a lot if he returns to form (thought he showed some good signs in his test for Tonga and game for the sharks last season before injury)… If not there are plenty of forwards to take his place. Also they need to sign a more experience fullback… not sure who, maybe Hayne? Any thoughts?

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