By Nathan Beuman

St George Illawarra Dragons prop George Rose admits that his off-season move to Wollongong to be closer to family has allowed him to enjoy his football more.

Rose, who supported the Dragons as a child, says that the Club’s new facilities and Head Coach Paul McGregor’s vision for 2015 were major factors in him signing with the Red V.

While the Bathurst Penguins junior makes no attempt to hide his hatred of pre-season training, the 31-year-old says that his new teammates have made him feel at home.

“No pre-season has ever been nice to me,” said Rose.

“It’s never friendly, but we are training really hard so it’s good as far as preparation for next season goes.

“It’s really enjoyable being around a good bunch of fellas and good staff, so it makes it all a lot easier to get through.

“Being just down the road from family, it’s really easy to catch up with everyone.

“I definitely feel I am a lot more myself.

“I quite like McGregor. He is honest. He knows what he wants.

“After meeting with McGregor, I think he’s got a great vision for next year, so hopefully it all comes to fruition.

“The Club were making a lot of changes just in the training facilities and I really like the feel of the club and where everything is headed.

“On top of that it was also the club I supported as a kid. You don’t often get that chance to play for the team you went for as a kid.”

Rose will have the opportunity to play alongside hooker and fellow recruit Heath L’Estrange, with the two former teammates winning a Premiership with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in 2008.

Rose says that his ultimate goal in 2015 is to make a home for himself in the top grade.

“Yeah, Stranger, he’s a little weirdo,” said Rose.

“I have enjoyed being around him again.

“I like the way he plays and I like him as a person.

“My goal is to play regular first grade, win games, and just have a successful season as a team.”