St George Illawarra Dragons prop Blake Lawrie has his eyes firmly fixed on a representative jumper in 2024.

The Dragons finished at the wrong end of the table in 2023, and it's predicted by many that the club will have another difficult season ahead despite the arrival of new head coach Shane Flanagan.

Despite the Dragons' struggles, Lawrie was consistently among the best for the Red V, playing 22 games and averaging 135 metres per game, to go with over 30 tackles per contest at a high efficiency. He also added ten offloads and 47 tackle busts.

While he wasn't in the conversation last year, some eyebrow raising selections of Stefano Utoikamanu and Tevita Pangai Junior from now exited coach Brad Fittler could have left Lawrie feeling condifent about his chances.

Now, with new hard-nosed coach Michael Maguire at the helm, a player like Lawrie may suit the game plan even more, and he said that while playing finals with the struggling Dragons is a priority, he wants to be in the representative conversation as he enters what should be the prime of his career.

“I felt like I took my game to another level last year, and I want to take it to another level again. I want to be in the representative conversation,” he said per Fox Sports.

“But first and foremost, I want to play finals footy at the Dragons and we have to be consistent and winning games. That's what we're going to be doing, and we're confident in that.

“Everyone who goes out and plays for their club wants to reach their potential and play the game at the highest levels they can. Obviously, there are high levels above just the NRL. That is the State of Origin arena and the representative arena.

“Obviously, I've got a lot of hard work and a lot of consistent to play before I get there. But first and foremost, my full focus is here at the Dragons and my teammates and supporting each other and our staff and our coach and coaches and performance staff.

“If we're winning games and playing consistent footy, I believe that will take care of itself.”

Lawrie will again be a walk-up starter for the Dragons with few new additions at the club, although there is young talent progressing through the junior ranks - in the forwards, they are led by the Couchman brothers, Toby and Ryan.

They won't challenge the forward pack leader Lawrie for a spot in 2024, but the 27-year-old will need to remain at his best if the Dragons are to win games, which Lawrie admits is the only way he will get picked in the State of Origin arena.

“I've obviously set myself goals and I would love to be in a representative conversation. But at the same time, I'm not going to be the representative conversation if we come last or second last again,” Lawrie said.

“So first and foremost I have to play consistent footy for the Dragons and win games and then get in the challenge for the top four and top eight. Hopefully, it takes care of it.”

The Dragons open their season away from home against the Gold Coast Titans.