Tim Lafai

The St George Illawarra Dragons announced on Friday that Tim Lafai has agreed to terms on a two-year contract that will see him join the Club until at least the end of 2017.

Lafai, 24, who can play in the centres, was recently granted a release by the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs after five seasons with the club.

The Toa Samoa international has represented his country on five occasions and has played 72 NRL games to date.

“Tim is an exciting player whose services became unexpectedly available in recent days and we are delighted that he has chosen to join the Dragons,” said Dragons Executive Manager Football Ben Haran.

“He brings experience and strike to our backline and will fit well into our structures and Club”.

Read more at Dragons.com.au


  1. Good signing of he can pick his form up. I’d rather him over hoppa. I’m guessing dragons are getting some trouble with him. Be that injury or off field problem.

    • i understand that he has a young family and they probably won’t want to leave sydney but would of loved to see him in a warrior jumper! or even a titan jumper. dragons got some great centers with Mann and Aitken would of been good coup for titans eels or raiders even

  2. Now thats settled I expect Roberts to Souths as we would have plenty under the cap with Luke , stewart, walker mcqueen and 2nd tier contracted players…surley sammy cant be taking up ALL those players money

  3. The dragons will have a much improved team in 2016… Lots of competition in the backs…. At this stage either Aitken or Matautia to miss a spot…

      • Yeah Pedro, Kurt Mann will be in the backline so it looks bad for Matutia on the surface. Aitken realy imporved a lot in last 6 weeks of comp and shows real potential. Actually based on this years form Florence should be under the pump and will need to lift to keep his spot.

      • There you go Pedro you got one back on us. I was hoping and predicted the saints would get him. Your side looks like a chance of making the 8 now with the depth in the backline. Just need your halves to stay injury free and it could be a good year.

  4. Sweet, good to see him at the Dragons if not the Dogs.

    Ps Lafai was playing first grade when the Dragons signed him, unlike Jmoz. 😉

  5. I hope that we are still in the market for Roberts? With Farrell retiring hopefully we can still afford Roberts?

    A back line of

    1 Roberts
    2 NIghtingale
    3 Dugan
    4 Lafai
    5 Mata Utai/Aikten
    6 Marshall
    7 Widdop

    would look pretty good.

  6. 1. Dugan
    2. Mata’utia
    3. Aitken
    4. lafai
    5. Nightingale
    6. Widdop
    7. Marshall

    Don’t think Duges will shift to the centres after this signing…

  7. Dugan is way better at fb then centre. Why do all u dragons want him in centres to touch the ball 6 times a game. He is the best fullback for starting sets in the comp. crazy to confine home to fb.

    • I don’t know why anyone would want Dugan at center, he’s a massive hog and would give no service to his winger…

      • Totally Agree…probably unknown to the blind dragons faithful…but Dugan played second fiddle in his junior days as a fullback to Lachlan Coote…Coote played every junior representative game at fullback ahead of him. Coote has had some major issues with injury in the last few seasons, but injury free in 2015 he was a MAJOR part in the structure and the eventual success for the cowboys. Dugan is a nothing when Coote is on song and would be a dismal failure in the centres.

        • And that history lesson matters in 1st grade today because of? When was the last time they were in the same rep team to judge that one and when was Coote ever in the centres for your last statement as well?

    • I want Dugan at centre. I think he will be one of the best centres in the game. I am not a fan of Dugan at fullback.

      • It would be a menacing presence with Dugan/Lafai as our centres for sure. Hopefully Mann turns out to be a gun fullback but Roberts for sheer speed would’ve been awesome.

        • Just so you guys get it, Dugan is a great fullback no doubt, but he hasn’t got the skill of ball playing. When he was at centre, he broke many tackles, he scored many tries and we were an attacking threat. We also signed a specialty full back in Mann, who can ball play and is known to be quite good. He will be the Moylan type fullback in my opinion.

          @Coastal, man you are sounding like the sharks Marldon, but for the dragons. I think the dragons have good forwards, some strike in the backs, and some good depth. But I agree with you about Rein. He can’t be the future hooker. When he gets tired, he gets lazy throwing forward and bad passes, and making bad decisions. He need to play 80, but consistently.

  8. They actually have a really strong team for next season. And good depth too

    1. Mann
    2. Nightingale
    3. Dugan
    4. Lafai
    5. Aitken
    6. Widdop
    7. Benji
    8. Ah Mau
    9. Rein
    10. Packer
    11. Thompson
    12. Frizzell
    13. Cooper

    14. De Belin
    15. Masoe
    16. Craegh
    17. McCarthy

  9. Dissapointed to see timo get flicked for hopoarte, our loss is saints gain.
    Good player when on, deceptively quick over the first 15.

  10. I’m really impressed with this signing especially if Lafai plays with his 2014 form! i rather Lafai over Hiku and if we end up with Roberts the dragons will be in the 8 easy! I highly doubt we will get Roberts but I seriously can not wait until 2016 kicks off. Dragons looking good!

  11. This signing and the fact Farrell is retiring is a massive improvement for the Dragons.
    Looks like a top 8 side on paper

  12. Welll done Dragons, I was really hoping to see him at Parra. We just need another experienced centre to be complete. Do you want to swap him for Morgan?

  13. The Dragons have a good roster with good depth, each position will be hotly contested each week.
    I think Mann will play f/b and Dugan will play centre. Duges has scored more tries as a centre than f/b and I think playing centre will give him some protection against his neck injury, yes he does need to pass more, but young Aitken had that issue last year as well. Mann reminds me more of Boyd as a f/b.

    F/B – Mann
    W1 – Nightingale
    C1 – Dugan
    C2 – Lafai
    W2- Aitken/Matautai (Aitken is a better defender but Matautai is quicker)
    5/8 – Widdop
    Half – Marshall
    Lock – Ah Mau
    2nd R – Packer
    2nd R – Frizell
    Fr R – Masoe
    Fr R – Cooper
    Hooker – Rein

    14 – De Belin
    15 – Creagh
    16 – Matthews
    17 – Marketo (very useful utility)

    BTW, that means the Cutters will have an almost 1st grade squad.

  14. It seems like yesterday we were pinning our hopes on players like Nielsen & Farrell.
    Certainly the Dragons are giving us some anticipation for next year.

    • How? Souths, for all the look at the salary cap we’ve freed up hype, had to release another player (McQueen) to fit Burgess in.

      • How do you know who Souths had to move on to fit Sam Burgess back in? Did you read it in the newspapers, did you see it on TV, or did you just dream it up?

        I read that Hiku was a done deal at the Eels, but he signed with Penrith. I also read that DCE was rock solid at the Titans. Lafai to Titans ring a bell? And some mad person tells us Roberts to Souths done deal.

        The truth is nobody knows until the players sign.

        • I agree 100%. I don’t have any inside info, nor do I pretend to, but according to the article on the NRL website this afternoon McQueen’s leaving will get the Burgess deal done. That said, I believe that one, because I don’t see the big ‘salary cap’ gap at the Bunnies.

  15. Very happy with the signing of Lafai. Saints vs Dogs games are very big in my family and one thing I’ve noticed over the years is Lafai always stepped up against us and usually scored a try each time. Welcome to the big red V champ.

  16. Either (IMO best option)
    1. Dugan
    2. Nightingale
    3. Aiken
    4. Lafai
    5. Mann

    Or the obvious
    1. Mann
    2. Nightingale
    3. Dugan
    4. Lafai
    5. Aiken/Mata’utia

  17. 1. Quinlan/Dugan
    2. Mann/Mata’utia/ Faifai Loa
    6. Marshall
    8. McCarthy
    9. Rein/Havalii
    10 De-Belin
    11. Creagh (c)
    12. Ikahihifo
    13. Lui/Cooper

    14. Maose
    16. Marketo

    20. Carr
    21. Hutchinson
    23. Jurd

  18. 1. Dugan
    2. Nightingale
    3. Aiken
    4. Lafai
    5. Mann
    6. Marshall
    7. Widdop
    8. Ah Mau
    9. Rein
    10. De Belin
    11. Frizzel
    12. Thompson
    13. Cooper

    14. Packer
    15. Creagh
    16. Masoe
    17. Ihafikiho/Liu

  19. What is with Quinlan fans? The guy is too slow and too small, has a poor passing game – as in he can’t pass with out it being a shocker. I have no idea why we got him back. Waste of money, should have been throwing everything at roberts. Don’t forget we also have Kiti Glymin coming through.

  20. I wanted roberts, but I also glad with the signing of lafai. I wasn’t keen on hiku.


    I think with this lineup, you have mann at the back who can ball play and give decent returns. Two wingers who can finish. To all those bagging flo, he does a lot of little things. He isn’t the fastest, but he takes a lot of hitups, great in defence and can finish. Now we have two strike centres. To all those wondering about Dugan, he wants to play centre, and he hasn’t got ball playing skills to play fullback, but he scores a lot of tries and breaks a lot of tackles. Dogs have payed us back for morrid with lafai. We need widdop to take control, so marshall can inject brilliance and next year Bird can. Bird is pretty much official. Widdop can go to halfback, and bird to five eight. Hopefully if he signs a year before, sharks decide to just release him and we get him this year.

    8.Ah Mau
    13.De Belin


    I think our starting props lay a good platform and play good minutes, and then we have some big boppers of the bench. Our back row are tough, great tacklers and run off our halves. Then we have Havili coming of the bench filling in for Hooker and Lock. If we improve his fitness, a small, big guy like him would run around tired defences. In my opinion, Rein needs to go. Firstly, We need an 80 minute hooker. Also, Rein gets lazy. When he gets tired, he throws forward passes, he makes bad decisions and throws lazy passes.

    I also think we have pretty good back depth in Fai Fai Loa, Kiti Glymin, Milne, McCrone and in the forwards with McCarthy, Ikahihifo, Lui, Matthews, Marketo. We also have some good young juniors coming though in Duffy, Thompson, Leilua, Sele, Host and currently in our squad.

    It think we finally have a tough intimidating foward pack, that has a good mix. We have strike in the backs, a ball playing fullback and quality halves. I only think we need a new hooker. One that plays 80 and can create tries. I am look forward to 2016.

  21. 1. Lafai
    2. Mann
    3. Dugan
    4. Aitken
    5. Nighty
    6. Marshall
    7. Widdop
    8. Ah Mau
    9. Rein
    10. Packer
    11. Frizzel
    12. Thompson
    13. De Belin

    14. Masoe
    15. Lui
    16. Ikahihifo
    17. Mccrone/havili


    Creagh – ready to retire
    Fai fai loa
    Mata utia

  22. Dragons 2016 Team

    1. Dugan
    2. Nightengale
    3. Aiken Peter mata’utia will cover anyone injured in the backline
    4. Lafai
    5. mann
    6. Widdop
    7. Marshall
    8. Ah Mau
    9. Rein
    10. cooper
    11. Frizell
    12. Thompson
    13. Packer


    14. Havilli / Dunamis Lui
    15. De Belin
    16. Matthews
    17. Masoe

    Phins why would you have cooper out the side?

  23. WTF why would we put dugan at centre. We did that in 2014 and look where we finished didn’t do it this year look where we finished. Dugan is the soul of the backlines at fullback, I am not a fan of him at centre one bit

  24. lol lafai great buy, his 2015 form was nsw cup standard , & if he plays again in 2016 like his 2015 form i dout he be in the team ,still on the steelers reasonable backline no forwards 2016 will be only a neusance team tip finish 10th

  25. The Dragons have a good groove heading into next season, and the Red V spirit is returning with a Coach who is passionate about the Club rather than a mere mercenary. Keep building respect in 2016, more will come and we will be contenders in a season or two.

  26. And also I wont be surprised if Mann has a breakout year next year. Shout out to the storm… his former club…. where he played better than slater,.. btw.. *flashback to when Mann got released and started crying in a corner

  27. I think that Lafai is a great player but I was set on the back line the dragons had already which would have most likely consisted of mann, matautia, Aitken nightingale and Dugan. Now with Lafai, Matautia is the player most likely to be shifted to reserve grade. But this year we do have depth in the back line and all around the park. Proper threats. YTB.

  28. How can Saints afford Roberts ,
    When they just bought the Canterbury centre ,
    And they put a massive offer for bird ,

    • @sharky1234me, we have lost a lot of high profile players in the last few years, and haven’t really replaced them. This may sound ridiculous, but we have lost guys in the past like Gaz, Cooper, Soward, Boyd and many others and have never really replaced them. In our team today, our highest profile players on a lot are Dugan, Widdop, Marshall and now lafai. That’s it. We have no big names on a lot in the forwards and the rest of our team is pretty cheap. None of our other signings were expensive. We had no expensive resignings, and as a matter of fact, Creagh and Flo took play decreases from juicy money. Lately, we have lost Morris, Merrin, D.Hunt and a few cheap guys. Dylan Farrell is also retiring. With Bird, he is for 2016 and we could use Marshall’s money to pay for Bird and we would still have a little left over. So overall, we have lost a lot of players and haven’t really replaced them with high profile players, and have only signed cheap players. Also, if some other teams can field their teams, then we are fine. So I think, we could still get Roberts.

  29. Good signing I think, especially if gets back to 2014 form.

    James Roberts would be fantastic and a strike weapon at its best, but I think he comes with baggage and you must think why the Titans did not try that hard to keep him..maybe they are smarter than we give em credit for.
    Roberts may be poorly advised and cost too much money as I not convinced of his defence yet.

    Phew..Glad Dragons missed out on Hiku..Penrith can have him

    • I agree. I didn’t want Hiku. He seems like a good finisher, but he looks like he couldn’t create. I wanted Roberts, to have speed on one size, and strength on the other, but I’m still happy with Lafai. He adds strike, he has strengh and he can score, and set up a try.

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