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 star half Ben Hunt has opened up on his future, saying he is open to staying with the Dragons beyond the end of his current deal.

By the time Hunt's deal expires at the Dragons, he will have spent six years at the club since being brought in on a mega-contract.

The next contract he signs, given he is already 31, will likely be his last in the NRL.

The Dragons, with a crop of talented youngsters making their way into the club's first-grade system, led by halves Talatau Amone and Jayden Sullivan, haven't yet made it obvious on whether they would be likely to retain Hunt or not, provided he wants to stay.

NRL Rd 19 - Dragons v Titans
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 25: Jayden Sullivan of the Dragons runs the ball during the round 19 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium, on July 25, 2021, in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Hunt has had a chequered run at the Dragons, with success generally staying arm's length away from the club, although they came within a single point of making the preliminary finals in 2018.

While the roster has had issues, Hunt's own form has been up and down, although 2022 under Anthony Griffin could pose as an opportunity for Hunt and the Red V to return to the finals.

In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Hunt said that while he wants to return to Queensland eventually, he isn't committed to finishing his playing career in the state.

“I’m definitely open to staying at the Dragons beyond next year, and it’s bloody exciting seeing these kids come through,” Hunt said.

“It reminds of me when I was their age and how I came through with a good core group of players at the Broncos, including ‘Macca’ [Andrew McCullough], Corey Norman, Josh McGuire and Alex Glenn.

“These guys now have their chance to make their own mark and set the club up for the future. They hang out together every day, they are in each other’s pockets, and the few games they all played together last year they were all sniffing around each other for the ball.

“When it’s all said and done, my family want to get back to Queensland and live in the Sunshine State. I’m not saying I’ll go back to finish playing there. I’m open to wherever my career takes me.

“I had a few years with Wayne, obviously, and we had that grand final and Origin series win.

“But at the moment, I’m only focused on the Dragons. I want to take us to the finals.

WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 13: Ben Hunt of the Dragons runs the ball during the round six NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Cronulla Sharks at WIN Stadium on April 13, 2018 in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

“We also enjoy our lifestyle down here, and the Dragons have a lot to offer moving forward. I’m pretty happy.”

Hunt has managed 77 games during his time at the Dragons, which now stretches four seasons, while he previously played 189 games for the Broncos. He has also played seven Tests for Australia and 11 State of Origins for Queensland.