TOOWOOMBA, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 22: Talatau Amone of the Dragons looks dejected after a Roosters try during the round 23 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Sydney Roosters at Clive Berghofer Stadium, on August 22, 2021, in Toowoomba, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Though their negotiations with Ben Hunt are taking a bit more time, the Dragons have reportedly secured the services of young halves partner Talatau Amone through to 2024, according to Nine journalist Danny Weidler.

The talented Wollongong junior had been earmarked as a top target by the Dolphins earlier in the year, but has decided to remain at the Red V, ticking off the first box in the club’s retention strategy moving forward under coach Anthony Griffin.

It’s been a breakout year for Amone, who served the club in more of a bench capacity through 11 appearances last year.

Despite being dropped to the bench for a brief period in 2022, a renowned work ethic and explosive talent have seen Amone secure the No.6 jersey beside Hunt and win over fans despite the team’s inconsistencies.

“I was trying to work for that No.6 jersey (in 2020),” Amone told the Sydney Morning Herald when he was announced in the halves at the start of the season.

“I’ve just got to prove (to Anthony Griffin) that I’m ready to play each and every game in the No.6 jersey. That’s the goal.”

Though Amone didn’t get to play every game in the No.6, his impressive performances in clubland also resulted in his Test debut earlier in the year, starting at halfback for Tonga in their loss to New Zealand.

Amone’s commitment may also have a run on effect for Dragons management, showing Ben Hunt that the club is committed to their current trajectory, something Hunt has been instrumental in and cares about.

“I can see myself finishing (at the Dragons),” Hunt previously told NewsCorp.

“I’m enjoying myself at the club, I’m really enjoying being coached by (Griffin) and there’s a good bunch of fellas there. The club is heading in the right direction.”

“The priority is to get the Dragons to keep building.”

The 2023 NRL Season is just around the corner and the Zero Tackle Season Guide is back! Get everything you need, from team lists, fixtures, statistics and a profile on every single player in the competition in our 2023 NRL Season Guide. Available now!