By Rachel Cain

St George Illawarra prop Jeremy Latimore has returned to the Dragons following a six-year absence to add another element of experience to the club ahead of the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership season.

Having played over 100 first grade games, Latimore is set to play a significant role in mentoring the younger players coming through.

"Mary explained to me there are a lot of young guys coming through so he wants me to play a role in helping them come through," Latimore said.

"Similarly, the capability of Ben Hunt and James Graham will have a considerable impact the strength and performance of the team. 

"I think with James Graham and Ben Hunt coming here that's going to make the team pretty formidable.

"I think Ben especially coming in will really help Gareth and the young fullback Matt Dufty the spine is going to be really important to us."

However, due to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup both Graham and Hunt won't begin pre-season until early January making it crucial for the team to work hard throughout pre-season.

"It's hard with a lot of the players out in the World Cup, so it's going to inhibit Ben a little bit with building his dynamic with Gareth. But I think that once he gets back into it, he’ll fit straight in here," Latimore said.

"I know they [the Dragons] missed the top eight by one or two points and over the first part of the year they were awesome, so with Ben Hunt and James Graham coming in I definitely think that the only way is up."