St George Illawarra Dragons Head Coach Paul McGregor has provided an update to recent speculation regarding recruitment and retention at the Club.
The Dragons presently have 21 players from their top-25 squad signed with the Club until at least the end of next season with only quartet Ben Creagh, Mitch Rein, Joel Thompson and Benji Marshall off-contract at season’s end.
McGregor has expressed that the retention of all four players remains a priority and intends to address this matter in the early stages of the new campaign.
“The rumours are flying at the moment and it’s a shame that all we have spoken about this week is players off contract more than the hard work players have done over the past 14 weeks,” said McGregor.
“A ball has not even been kicked for this season and already we are talking about 2017.
“We have a very settled roster here and going into the 2017 season we have 21 of our 25 players under contract.
“The only players from this group of players off-contract at the end of the season are Benji Marshall, Joel Thompson, Ben Creagh and Mitch Rein, who is a local junior.
“That will work itself out over the first half of the season and it’s very difficult when working under a salary cap.
“We are educated with our processes dealing with the salary cap.
“We will work through it and those four guys are very high on our plans moving forward and a lot will be determined by how we play in the first eight weeks of the new season.
“To put a few rumours to rest, Cooper Cronk has not been spoken to by anyone at the Club while rumours of Josh Hoffman is news to me.”