Incoming St George Illawarra Dragons coach Shane Flanagan has ruled out bringing on board either former centre Matt Cooper or hooker Michael Ennis.

Both Ennis and Cooper had been linked to the club in assistant coaching capacities in recent days.

News Corp reported earlier this week that Ennis was on the Dragons' radar, but could also yet take Flanagan's spot at the Manly Sea Eagles when he departs his role under Anthony Seibold at the end of the 2023 season.

Cooper, meanwhile, was linked to the Dragons on Friday by Wide World of Sports.

According to that publication, Cooper had put all previous issues he had with the Dragons following a messy retirement behind him in an effort to help the club and their young line-up of outside backs next season.

Cooper would be able to offer plenty to the Dragons in any capacity, having been widely regarded as the NRL's best defensive centre during his playing career.

So confident was Cooper that he told the publication a deal was likely to be done "within the next two months" for him to come on board in time for the start of pre-season.

The former centre has not been backward on social media in his criticism of the Dragons this season and has offered on multiple occasions to help the club.

But speaking on 2GB Radio, Flanagan, who has already confirmed that Ryan Carr will stay on as an assistant in 2024 and be joined by the returning Dean Young, who leaves his post at the North Queensland Cowboys, said there are no spots for either Cooper or Ennis on his coaching staff in 2024.

“It's [Cooper joining] definitely not happening because I've got my coaching staff,” Flanagan said.

“I'm not sure where Michael [Ennis] is going, I haven't got any places available at the Dragons.

“I think that he might end up at the Manly Sea Eagles.”

Carr has served admirably as the interim coach at the Dragons this year, and while the club is still close to the bottom of the table, he is well respected by the playing group and regarded by many as a head coach in waiting.

Young, meanwhile, returns to the Dragons in 2024 having originally left after serving as the club's last interim coach, only to miss out on the head coaching role to Anthony Griffin, who was sacked in the middle of 2023, having not inspired the Dragons to any improvement over his two and a half years in charge.

The Dragons will finish in the bottom two for 2023, and Flanagan, without a significant number of spots left or cash available, faces a mammoth task to turn the club around next season.