WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14: Ben Hunt of the Dragons evades the tackle of Josh Hodgson of the Raiders during the round 17 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Canberra Raiders at WIN Stadium on July 14, 2019 in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

St George Illawarra Dragons halfback and Dally M Medal candidate Ben Hunt has weighed on the situation involving wantaway Red V fullback Tyrell Sloan, who has grown frustrated with a lack of first-team opportunities under Anthony Griffin.

It was revealed last week that Sloan’s request for an early release had been rejected by the Dragons, with the 20-year-old seemingly losing out in his battle for the No.1 jersey with Cody Ramsey during 2022.

Hunt, who is also still involved in contract negotiations with the club, told the Sydney Morning Herald that Sloan just needs to keep working hard and the rewards will come.

“I hope he stays,” Hunt said.

“I know the club wants him to stay, and we’ve all seen the glimpses of talent he has. If he can put his head down and work hard in pre-season, you never know what can happen for him.”

NRL Rd 10 - Titans v Dragons
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 14: Tyrell Sloan of the Dragons is tackled during the round 10 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium, on May 14, 2022, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Though Sloan has never approached Hunt for advice, the Dragons No.7 has pointed to his own rugby league journey as proof that patience pays off.

“He’s never spoken about his frustrations to me,” Hunt said.

“I can understand if he’s frustrated with not playing, but all young players go through the same thing. I didn’t play regular first grade until I was about 24.

“It’s a learning curve for him and he needs to embrace that.”

Sloan’s unrest is believed to have piqued the interest of a number of clubs, despite the fact he’s under contract until the end of 2024.

It was reported just days ago that the Dragons were furious with the Dolphins’ alleged involvement in Sloan seeking a release, with the club considering a formal complaint to the NRL about a breach in anti-tampering rules.