The St George Illawarra Dragons have announced the re-signing of local Thirroul Butchers' juniors, Matheson Johns, Cooper Purcell and Max Bailey to new contracts.

All three players are presently in their first season representing the Club’s National Youth Competition team.

Both Johns and Purcell, who were previously part of the recent Illawarra Steelers SG Ball Grand Final team, have been signed for a further two seasons, until at least the end of 2018 season.

Johns plays in the centres and was the recipient of the Steelers 2016 SG Ball Coach’s Award while Purcell plays as hooker.

Both players originally joined the Dragons' High Performance Unit in early 2013 before progressing to junior representative football, that same year.

Furthermore, a fellow teammate Bailey,has agreed to a further season, until at least the end of 2017.

The versatile lock-forward, who can also play in the second-row, is also a graduate of the Steelers' SG Ball team, last season.

“It is fantastic news that local Thirroul Butchers' juniors Matheson, Cooper and Max have all agreed to remain with the Club,” said Director of Rugby League Pathways Ian Millward.

“All three players have come through our junior pathways' systems and were previously part of our Steelers' SG Ball team at differing times who have shown a keen desire to continue their learning with our NYC team.

“We all look forward to watching their continued development over the coming seasons.”