The St George Illawarra Dragons advised on Friday that Russell Packer has this week been granted permission by the NRL to commence training with the Club’s full-time squad, in conjunction with his ongoing education and welfare programs.

Packer has to date been training and playing with the Dragons NSW Cup feeder team the Illawarra Cutters as well as training individually four mornings a week ahead of his work hours role as a Community Development Officer at the Club.

As a Dragons Community Development Officer, Packer has been working in programs that focus on the reinforcement of positive behaviours within the community, particularly within low socio- economic areas and across age groups that contain “Youth at Risk”.

Packer has also this week commenced studying a Bachelor of Business at the University of Wollongong, having recently completed a Certificate IV in Community Services through TAFE Illawarra.