St George Illawarra Dragons incoming coach Shane Flanagan has confirmed that Dean Young will return to the club as his assistant in 2024.

Young, a premiership winner with the joint venture in 2010, began his coaching journey at the Dragons before exiting to take up a role at the North Queensland Cowboys under Todd Payten after being overlooked for the head coaching role after Paul McGregor's time at the club.

Overlooked for Anthony Griffin, Young now completes his return to the club he played his entire career.

A highly-rated assistant within Payten's system, multiple Cowboys figures, including Payten, have spoken out suggesting Young is ready for a head coaching role.

He is also highly rated by former coach Bennett, who guided the 2010 Dragons' team to a premiership.

Young was believed to be in the running to replace Griffin this time around alongside Jason Ryles (who snubbed the club for the Melbourne Storm), and Ben Hornby, who is another of the 2010 premiership team but is currently assistant coaching at the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The Dragons ultimately went for the more experienced option of Flanagan. The Dragons have made the finals just twice since Bennett left the club at the end of 2011.

In addition to Young's appointment, the Dragons have confirmed that Dan Lawson will return as the club's high-performance manager, having worked under Bennett during the 2010 premiership season, and under Flanagan at the Sharks during a premiership in 2016.

Andrew Gray is the third of the appointments for the Red V, returning as a high-performance consultant. Like Lawson, he worked in both the Dragons' 2010 and Sharks' 2016 premierships.

Dragons general manager of football Ben Haran said the three appointments would strengthen the club.

“To have people of the calibre, experience and knowledge of Dean, Dan and Andrew involved in the football program in 2024 is only going to make the club stronger,” Haran said in a club statement.

“We look forward to building out the rest of the football department staff with Shane over the coming months.”

All three will begin with the club at the start of the 2024 pre-season.