Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett has declared his interest in St George Illawarra Dragons' second-rower Jaydn Su'A.

Bennett coached Su'A in stints at both the Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs during the earlier part of his career, while the second-rower was also part of the 2020 State of Origin squad for Queensland which Bennett coached.

That was a series the Maroons were never supposed to win, with some suggesting it was the 'worst Origin team of all time.'

Regardless, Queensland took the win, and Bennett told The Daily Telegraph that while Su'A, who is off-contract at the end of 2024, wouldn't be able to move next year, he would be interested in snaring Su'A for 2025 and beyond at the Dolphins, saying he is a "very good player."

“I would certainly be interested in Jaydn Su'A,” Bennett told the newspaper.

“From my understanding, Jaydn has another year to go with the Dragons but I have a good relationship with him.

“He was a very good player for me at the Broncos, I brought him into first grade and then I gave him a chance at South Sydney when he was struggling with injury (at Brisbane) and he was outstanding for us at the Rabbitohs.

“If and when he becomes a free agent, if Jaydn wants to come back to Queensland, I'm certainly keen to talk to him.”

Su'A, who has also played eight Tests for Samoa on top of his four games for the Maroons in the Origin arena, recently passed 100 NRL games and has been with the Dragons since the start of the 2022 season.

Born in New Zealand, he settled in Queensland during his formative years where he was also involved in playing rugby union. His first contract was with the Canberra Raiders before he was snared by the Broncos.

He has quickly become one of the Dragons' most important players on the edge, and his presence was severely missed when he spent time on the sidelines during his first season with the club, owing to a suspension and an injury at various points.

Despite the interest from Bennett, who gave Su'A plenty of opportunities during the aforementioned stints at both Brisbane and South Sydney, Su'A said he is settled in Sydney and not looking for a move away.

“My partner is set up down here, she works at one of the hospitals here," Su'A told the publication.

“We obviously do miss our family. I don't get to go home too much and that can be hard.

“There‘s obviously days where you miss home.

“But I've created a good bond with the boys. I need to play well to get that next extension.”

The 25-year-old is believed to be a high-priority target for the Dragons as they begin working through a long list of players off-contract at the end of 2024.

Of more urgency to the club will be confirming their long-term coaching plans, with Anthony Griffin unlikely to be extended beyond the end of 2023 after a disappointing two seasons in charge, followed up by an equally poor start to 2023.

They may need to confirm coaching prospects before locking down their squad, with Josh Kerry, Jacob Liddle and young guns Connor Muhleisen and Sione Fainu off-contract at the end of 2023, before a host of players join them next year.


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