Incoming St George Illawarra Dragons coach Shane Flanagan has confirmed he believes Ben Hunt will remain at the club until the end of his contract in 2025.

Hunt, who requested a release in the middle of last year before his new two-year extension that kicks in from the start of 2024 had even begun, suggested recently that he partially regrets re-signing with the club in an interview with News Corp.

Despite that, he is now committed to the Red V for 2024 at least, having been knocked back consistently by his club for any chance of a release.

He refused to commit to 2025 though, saying he needed to see significant changes at the club.

Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, Flanagan said he is hopeful of Hunt changing his tune with changes at the club this season and also revealed that Hunt's main issue is losing all the time.

“You can read his comments in a lot of different ways, but he did confirm that he is at the Dragons next year,” Flanagan said to the SMH.

“All the conversations I've had with him are about that. It's all been positive and about what needs to change. He wants to win. He's a competitor, and I'm the same, we're in the same boat.

“If we achieve what I think we can do, he won't want to go anywhere. That's my attitude to the whole thing.

“Ben's biggest problem is we haven't been winning footy games. A club came in and offered him a lot of money to go elsewhere and we would all think about that.”

The Dragons, who have spent the last two years well down the table, eventually moved to terminate the deal with Anthony Griffin in the middle of 2023.

Hunt was close to Griffin and had been suggesting since as early as pre-season that his future would be uncertain if Griffin was punted from the club.

Reports even suggested at one stage that Hunt wanted a clause in his contract extension directly linked to Griffin's future.

Flanagan's appointment is seen as a big boost for the Red V, with the former premiership-winning boss being the club's most experienced appointed coach since Wayne Bennett - since then, all of Steve Price, Paul McGregor and Griffin have had overwhelmingly poor stints in charge.