MAITLAND, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 22: Tariq Sims of the Dragons during the NRL Trial match between the Newcastle Knights and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Maitland No. 1 Sportsground on February 22, 2020 in Maitland, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Criticism followed the Dragons around earlier this week following reports suggesting Jack De Belin was set to be named as stand-in captain.

The need for a new captain came following injuries to first Ben Hunt, and then vice-captain Andrew McCullough. Hunt is potentially set to return for Round 25, although could be wrapped in cotton wool if the Dragons are out of the finals race, while surgery means McCullough's season is over.

De Belin spent over two years out of the game as he fought to clear his name of a sexual assault charge. He had been stood down under the NRL's no-fault stand-down policy.

He returned to the NRL earlier this season following a second jury being unable to reach a verdict.

Griffin noted that, from the team named this weekend, there were only a handful of players experienced enough to stand up and captain, being Jack Bird, De Belin, Josh McGuire and the eventual selection Tariq Sims.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 01: Jack De Belin of the Dragons in action during the round 25 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the St George Illawarra Dragons at McDonald Jones Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

"It's a funny set-up this week because you don't normally lose two captains in the space of four or five weeks, but we have some senior players there in Jack Bird, Jack de Belin, Josh McGuire and Tariq Sims," Griffin said.

Bird, De Belin and McGuire all attended the infamous barbeque at Paul Vaughan's house which led to Vaughan's contract being torn up and 12 other players being fined and suspended for a match each.

Sims was one of the few players who didn't attend the event, and it's understood it played a big role in earning the captaincy role this weekend.

The coach also poured cold water on the idea of De Belin being talked about as a genuine captain option.

"I heard that, too. Tuesday afternoon we ran through a few names. There was a story made out of it," Griffin said.

"No, I don't think so. When we lost Andrew McCullough, there were four or five guys that could be captain of the side."

Sims recently celebrated his 200th game and played in the State of Origin series for New South Wales this year.

The Dragons are in a must-win position when they face the Sydney Roosters this afternoon. The side are looking to snap a five-match losing streak, with their slim finals hopes hanging by a thread.