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St George Illawarra Dragons National Youth Competition team prop Blake Lawrie is simply taking his latest opportunity to train with the first-grade squad ‘with open hands’.

The local Wests Devils junior is part of a contingent of Young Dragons players invited by Head Coach Paul McGregor to join the full-time pre-season training squad and has quickly adapted to the rigid work-out sessions involved.

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Lawrie, a graduate of the Illawarra Steelers Junior Representative ranks, admits he is benefitting off the tutelage from the more senior members of the forward-pack and knows every morsel of information will only better his own game.

“It’s been a tough pre-season so far but I’ve been enjoying every minute of it,” said Lawrie.

“It was pretty overwhelming getting the call-up to train with the first-grade squad and unexpected but I’m taking the opportunity with open hands and learning a lot.

“I’ve been fortunate to be able to ask a lot of questions off more of the established players in the squad including Mose Masoe, Russell Packer and Jack de Belin.

“All those guys have taken me under their wing as a young prop and I’m loving it.

“The body is sore at stages training a lot more often to what I have done in the past but I know it’s part of playing first-grade and something you just need to adapt to.”