SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 29: Matt Dufty of the Dragons is tackled during the round 20 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Allianz Stadium on July 29, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The St George Illawarra Dragons maintain their desire is to re-sign Matt Dufty until the end of 2021, even though the fullback is unlikely to retain his No. 1 jersey in 2019.

Dufty has drawn attention from a number of clubs after the Dragons brought in Corey Norman over the summer, opening up a move to fullback for Gareth Widdop.

Eight times Super League Champions Leeds Rhinos were showing good interest in the 23-year-old, while his name has also been linked to the position at North Queensland vacated by Ben Barba.

However, the Dragons have made clear the club’s desire to keep Dufty in the Red V long-term.

The retirement of Jason Nightingale and departure of Nene McDonald opens up two wing positions to be filled, for which Dufty will face competition from Zac Lomax, Jonas Pearson, Mikaele Ravalawa, Jason Saab and Lachlan Maranta.

Lomax, who also grew up playing fullback, weighed in on the positional complications facing Dufty and the Dragons.

“Duff is looking fit at the moment, he’s put on a bit of size, he’s very fast, and he has a lot of skill, a good passing game and [he’s a] confident fella,” he told Christian Nicolussi of The Sydney Morning Herald.

“He won’t be taking a backward step, and I’m confident wherever he’s asked to play he’ll put in a good performance.

“Fullback would be my favourite position. But as a young bloke you have to understand the demands of NRL and coming into the game, and the toll it can take on your body and mentally.”

St George Illawarra will have until Saturday 16th March to decide on their best line-up, when they take on the North Queensland Cowboys at 1300MILES Stadium.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I kind of agree with Kev, with the fade out specialist coach McGregor I think they will miss the finals this year. Please Please don’t even think of re-signing McGregor, the Dragons need a new coach with fresh ideas.

  2. I can’t see us missing the top 8 even with McGregor as coach. I think we have the second best roster in the comp

  3. It’s all very well to have the second best roster in the comp, we want to see the results on the field! I don’t think the Dragons will fade this year because of the lessons learned from not resting the Origin players last season. Matt Dufty is not a winger, and it would be foolish to play him there imo. Zac Lomax & Jordan Peraira should be the wingers to start the season.

  4. Depends what is happening with DE Belin.❔❓❔❓ I think Saints will be right in it as long as Widdop is 5/8, Hunt is 7 and Norman 1. 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎 Norman needs to stay away from the gangsters or Saints will crumble.

  5. Lomax has to be centre. From what I’ve read about Ravalawa he’s a gun, so I’d like to see him get a go on one wing and Pereira looked good to me and should be first pick on the other wing. Aitken and Lafai to fight it out to partner Lomax, the loser goes in the mix for wing, but down the order.

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