In September 2011, the Illawarra Rugby League, Illawarra Steelers and Dragons announced a new unique partnership to form and enter an Illawarra team into the VB NSW Cup competition for 2012.
With the support of Illawarra Coal as the team's major sponsor, the team debuted in March 2012 as the Illawarra Cutters, wearing the traditional scarlet and white of the Illawarra District.
The Cutters host all home matches at the newly revamped WIN Stadium in Wollongong, using a mix of contracted players from the Dragons NRL squad, NYC sqaud, and Illawarra Carlton League.
The Illawarra Cutters are coached by former Australian New South Wales and Dragons centre Paul McGregor, who recently guided Wests Illawarra in the Carlton League to their third consecutive Premiership. McGregor is assisted by former Dragons hooker Shane Millard.
Dragons Junior Representative and High Performance Manager Neil Lovett manages the team’s administration while Steelers Deputy Chairman Sean O’Connor chairs the team’s Football Management Sub-Committee which will also include the Chairman of the Carlton League Ian Neill, Steelers Director Graeme Gulloch and representatives of the Dragons.
The Dragons are proud to work with the Illawarra Cutters as their official “feeder club”, to enable the St George and Illawarra Harold Matthews and S.G. Ball teams to participate in their respective NSW Rugby League competitions in 2012 and beyond.