Former Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has arisen as a shock suitor for lead role at St George Illawarra should the Dragons part ways with the embattled Anthony Griffin.

Despite leading the Argentina national team in what is a rugby union World Cup year, the Sydney-born Cheika threw his hat in the ring for the job, with tournament scheduling allowing him to be back in the Harbour City by the commencement of the off-season.

As first reported by The Daily Telegraph, enquiries on Cheika's behalf were made to Dragons CEO Ryan Webb last week, with a club spokesperson confirming the interest at the weekend.

“I guess you could say it's another name we've put to the list,” the anonymous party told News Corp.

“It came from right out of the blue.”

Despite Griffin still acting as the incumbent, a slew of names have been tossed up for the Kogarah job, with veterans Des Hasler and Shane Flanagan interested, as well as former Dragons Ben Hornby, Dean Young and Jason Ryles.

Seen as a front-runner for the gig, Ryles is said to have listed his demands from the Dragons, reportedly asking for a Ciraldo-esque five-year deal, as well as full autonomy over his assistants and the playing roster.

Though fluent in the 15-man code, Cheika does have form in league circles, having led Lebanon at last year's world cup.

Cheika has also worked closely with Trent Robinson and the Roosters as an advisor in 2020.

The 56-year-old has also expressed past interest in a code-hop, claiming that people management was more important than technicalities.

“I am starting to understand the language of NRL, that is for sure,” Cheika said at last year's World Cup.

“I am starting to learn more about it, being a coach you can transition to anything because it is about getting the best out of people.

“The technicalities I am getting a handle on nicely, but for me coaching has always been a two-way street.

“You don't go looking for anything, you do your best, and when things come your way and the opportunities are there you try to make the best of them because it will make you better as a coach.

“If that opportunity comes it'd be something that would be a huge challenge for me, because not many have done it, but I think it'd be an awesome challenge to take on.”

After hanging up his boots following a 10-year playing career that spanned stints in Australia, France and Italy, the father of four has kept busy in the coaching sphere, leading powerhouse provincial teams in the New South Wales Waratahs, Leinster and Stade Français, as well as national team jobs with Australia and Argentina.

Cheika's Pumas are rated as a genuine chance to shake up the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, with the South Americans currently ranked as the eighth best global team.