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St George Illawarra overview and historic timeline

The Super League War of the the mid-1990s had many casualties, and the St George Dragons and Illawarra Steelers were not immune to this dark chapter in Australian rugby league history.

However, the introduction of the St George Illawarra Dragons to the National Rugby League ahead of the 1999 season ensured that two of rugby league's grandest areas were represented in the game's elite competition come the turn of the century.

Inaugural 1999 squad. Players back row: Mathew Rodwell, Jason Hooper, Trent Barrett, Craig Stapleton, Craig Smith, Andrew Hart, Jamie Ainscough, Lance Thompson, Corey Pearson. Middle row: Anthony Mundine, Brad Mackay, Shaun Timmins, Luke Patten, Terry Lamey, Colin Ward, Chris Leikvoll, Craig Fitzgibbon, Darren Treacy. Front row: Nathan Brown, Lee Murphy, Mark Coyne, Paul McGregor, Nathan Blacklock, Rod Wishart, Wayne Bartrim.
Inaugural 1999 squad. Players back row: Mathew Rodwell, Jason Hooper, Trent Barrett, Craig Stapleton, Craig Smith, Andrew Hart, Jamie Ainscough, Lance Thompson, Corey Pearson. Middle row: Anthony Mundine, Brad Mackay, Shaun Timmins, Luke Patten, Terry Lamey, Colin Ward, Chris Leikvoll, Craig Fitzgibbon, Darren Treacy. Front row: Nathan Brown, Lee Murphy, Mark Coyne, Paul McGregor, Nathan Blacklock, Rod Wishart, Wayne Bartrim.

With a death sentence hanging over the heads of clubs who weren't viable by the 2000 season, either financially or through other means, the Dragons and Steelers were the first clubs to merge.

Together, a septet of current and future Steelers internationals in Paul McGregor, Craig Smith, Rod Wishart, Craig Fitzgibbon, Shaun Timmins, Trent Barrett and Brad Mackay joined forces with Nathan Blacklock, Anthony Mundine, Jamie Ainscough, Wayne Bartrim and Mark Coyne, and quickly became a powerhouse.

This is the story of the St George Illawarra Dragons.