The St George Illawarra Dragons will reportedly widen their search for a new coach once again, with Shane Flanagan and John Morris expected to be discussed.

The Dragons were left reeling during the week after Jason Ryles - who is a current assistant coach at the Sydney Roosters and former Dragons' player - turned his back on the Red V to instead head back to Melbourne in 2024 as an assistant.

That, despite Ryles living in Wollongong and widely being viewed as the next man up for a head coaching role. It's a job he now ultimately could take in the Victorian capital when Craig Bellamy hangs up the clipboard, although Ryles has no guarantee of moving into that role.

The Dragons, who believed they had Ryles signed, sealed and delivered, will now need to begin the search once again as they look to appoint their fourth coach since Wayne Bennett departed at the end of 2011 - all of Steve Price, Paul McGregor and Anthony Griffin have been sacked over the following decade and a bit.

In the lead-up to Ryles snubbing the Dragons it was believed the list of potential options had been narrowed to three, with Ryles leading the charge ahead of South Sydney Rabbitohs assistant coach Ben Hornby and North Queensland Cowboys assistant Dean Young.

Of particular note, both are former Dragons players, and would have been rookie coaches.

That list has now widened according to News Corp though, with Flanagan and Morris expected to be on the radar of the struggling club.

The Dragons, who have been labelled everything from a basket case to the worst run club in the game, currently sit in last spot on the NRL table, and a rookie coach may well not be the way to go as they attempt to turn their fortunes around.

That said, the reason Ryles reportedly baulked at the Dragons was a lack of control he was set to receive in signing a four-year deal, and it's unclear if the board would be more willing to move for someone like Flanagan, who is a premiership-winning NRL coach and has already spent two stints at the Dragons during his return to the sport - one as an assistant coach and the other as a list manager.

The Dragons have set no timeline for naming a replacement for Anthony Griffin, who was sacked a number of weeks ago.