New St George Illawarra Dragons coach Shane Flanagan has revealed that fullback Cody Ramsey is not expected to play at all next season.

As the club finished second-last just ahead of the Wests Tigers, Ramsey was forced to have multiple follow-up operations last season.

His absence, which saw him struck down with the inflammatory bowel condition ulcerative colitis, couldn't have come at a worse time for the 23-year-old as he cemented himself as the club's first-choice fullback at the end of the 2022 season.

“He's at training but I wouldn't think he'd play in 2024, he's had some terrible luck with his illness and getting over it,” Flanagan said via

“He's good at the moment and we just hope he stays well for a long period of time. Footy's not his priority at the moment, his health is.”

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)

Ahead of next season, there has been plenty of chatter and rumours regarding who will wear the number one jersey for the Dragons.

As Flanagan admits that Ramsey will be out for the entirety of 2024, he has limited choices to choose who will play in the fullback role.

Tyrell Sloan will likely begin the new season in the fullback role, but the premiership-winning coach is set to give Zac Lomax time at fullback, which will shift him from the centres.

The 23-year-old has been considered one of the competition's best young centres; however, the number one jersey may see him involved more in the club's attack than he currently is.

“He's definitely going to get some reps there in the off-season,” Flanagan said via the Herald.

“It's not a bad thing for him to be able to play both sides of the field, either way. He's done it at left centre and right centre.

“As a fullback, there's a lot of defensive qualities you need to have and he's definitely big and strong enough and fit enough; he can handle the workload.

“It's just the subtleties of the fullback play, [playing] out the back, the three-on-twos and those sorts of things that we will work on with him during the off-season.”