St George Illawarra are pleased to announced that winger Jason Nightingale has re-signed with the Dragons for a further season, at least to the end of the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership season, his 12th season in the NRL.
Nightingale, 30, who made his NRL debut for the Club in 2007, has played 237 NRL games to date, placing him behind only Ben Hornby (273), Ben Creagh (270) and Matt Cooper (243) on the Club’s all-time appearance record. He has scored 101 career tries, third in Club history behind only Matt Cooper (124) and Brett Morris (112).
The local junior from Renown United in the St George District has played 31 Tests for New Zealand and is excited and honoured at the prospect of remaining a one-club player at the Dragons and helping the young talent at the Club.
“It looks like it will be the only Club I will ever play for and I’m very excited to be a part of this great Club for so many years,” Nightingale said.
“I feel very honoured to be able to continue my journey with the Dragons and to have the opportunity to help nurture the future Dragons as we have some great talent coming through the pathways at our Club.
“I’m looking forward to finishing my journey, as they are midway through theirs, and seeing what great things they can provide and what great achievements we can gain as a Club,” added Nightingale.
“It’s very exciting to think of the times we have ahead to build toward some finals and premierships”.
Dragons Director of Rugby League Pathways Ian Millward said Nightingale's signature was important for the Club, particularly for the younger outside backs at the Club.
"Jason has been outstanding for this Club in every aspect both on and off the field for a long period of time and it is great that he has chosen to sign for a further year,” said Millward.
“He is one of the most consistent players at our Club, he is a leader who contributes positively every week and we are excited that he has chosen to stay at the Club, ” added Millward.
"With a lot of younger guys coming into our squad next year, we couldn't afford to lose Jason's experience as a senior leader – in the next 12 months he'll play a crucial part in their development and nurturing," Millward said.
Nightingale joins the likes of skipper Gareth Widdop, Euan Aitken, Jack de Belin, Paul Vaughan, Tim Lafai, Kurt Mann, Tyson Frizell, Jai Field, Jacob Host, Blake Lawrie and Luciano Leilua who have extended their contracts this season.
In addition, the Club has also signed Queensland Cup outside back Jordan Pereira on an 18-month contract.
Pereira, 24, has a background in rugby union and league and presently leads the Mackay Cutters in metres gained (2092m) this season and has scored eight tries.
“Jordan can play wing or centre, he is skilful, runs through ball very aggressively and has been outstanding in the Queensland Cup this season,” said Millward.
“He is a great athlete, versatile with a real attitude and desire to improve and play the game at the highest level,” added Millward.
Pereira’s contract was registered last Friday, June 30 and joined the Dragons today, Thursday.
The Club also agreed to release Shaun Nona and Chris Lewis from the remainder of their current playing contracts prior to June 30.
“Chris and Shaun both requested an early release which has been granted to take up opportunities in the Queensland Cup,” said Director of Rugby League Pathways Ian Millward.
“We wish both Chris and Shaun the very best for their future and thank them for their contributions to our Club.