This is where the Dragons' Team of the Decade gets real interesting. The 'centre' of attention if you will.
Will you pick the club legends who only featured in the first few years of the decade? You know, the Coopers and Gasniers of the world? Or will it be someone – the Aitkens, the Lafais – who featured most heavily this decade in the three-quarters?
The beauty is, it's yet another chance for our beloved Red V members and fans to have their say in our Team of the Decade (2010s), an initiative by the Dragons aimed to help navigate, and distract, through these harrowing times.
Offering up a great opportunity to look back at not only the club's 2010 premiership success, the Team of the Decade will reflect on a whopping 48 players – including our seven nominated centres – who traversed the triumphs, the trials and the tribulations in the years that followed.
Voting for your favourite centres of the 2010s closes at midnight, Thursday, April 16. This Team of the Decade (2010s) vote is proudly brought to you by Deicorp.
Centres of the Decade (2010s) nominees
Euan Aitken (2015-present)
Dragons appearances: 104
High expectations and headlines were all the rage for Euan Aitken before he'd even laced up a boot for first grade. That came in Round 3, 2015 in the nation's capital, via the Dragons' visit to the UK for the World Club Series, and quickly became a permanent appointment. Only injury prevented the South Coast product from achieving his 100th NRL game sooner. The Scottish international and New South Wales Country representative has scored 35 tries to date and at just 24 has plenty of years ahead of him.
Gerard Beale (2013-14)
Dragons appearances: 29
Signed as a fullback from the Brisbane Broncos, Gerard Beale's first season at the Dragons was marred by a season-ending ACL injury after just five games. Returning in 2014, Beale found a home in the centres where he dominated the try-scoring (10) for the Red V, only notorious try-scorers Jason Nightingale and Brett Morris topping him. Beale was duly awarded with selection for New Zealand at season's end before departing for the Cronulla Sharks, who he won a premiership with in 2016.
Matt Cooper (2000-13)
Dragons appearances: 243 (63 games in the 2010s)
Relentless, skilful, determined and handsome are just some of the words often used to describe Matt Cooper. Cooper made his debut for the Dragons at the turn of the century and wore the Red V for his entire 13-year career, amassing an incredible 243 games before his retirement in 2013. Highly regarded as one of the best defensive centres in the league, the local Shellharbour junior was as handy at finding the try-line and remains the joint-venture's record holder for most tries (124). A symbol of rugby league in more ways than one, his 100th career win coincided with the Dragons' 2010 grand final victory.
Mark Gasnier (2000-08; 2010-11)
Dragons appearances: 174 (33 games in the 2010s)
Possessing the ability to burn opponents with his trademark shimmy shimmy woosh, Mark Gasnier's brute strength to score tries or set up his outside man was always a work of art. The nephew of club legend Reg, Gasnier carved out his own stellar career in the Red V. Gasnier's departure to French rugby in 2009 looked to spell the end of his rugby league career. Alas, a late-season move back to the Dragons in 2010 would pay dividends in the form of premiership glory, where he scored the opening try for the Red V in the grand final. A prolific representative for state and country throughout his career, Gasnier was afforded one last hurrah for New South Wales in 2011. The then 30-year-old's shock retirement occurred mere months later.
Tim Lafai (2016-present)
Dragons appearances: 91 (89 games in the 2010s)
A strong and skilful player with a handy offload and the ability to create something from nothing, just about sums up Tim Lafai's five-year stint at the Dragons thus far. A winger's best friend when he gets an arm free, Lafai has been a mainstay in the Dragons' centres since joining from the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs ahead of the 2016 season. Lafai has represented his native Samoa in Test matches on 13 occasions since 2013 as well as the Nines World Cup tournament in 2019.
Beau Scott (2007-12)
Dragons appearances: 118 (55 games in the 2010s)
Possessing a death stare that would strike fear in any man, Beau Scott carved out a reputation as one of the toughest men in rugby league while at the Dragons. The no-nonsense back-rower or centre joined the Dragons in 2007 and was a crucial cog in the club's 2010 grand final win. Prior to his departure in 2012, the three-time Geoff Selby Trophy recipient was duly rewarded in his time at the Red V with five State of Origins for New South Wales and one Test for Australia. Scott spent three years with the Newcastle Knights and Parramatta Eels each before retirement called in 2018.
Kyle Stanley (2010-14)
Dragons appearances: 45
If one knee reconstruction wasn't enough for Kyle Stanley, try two – and that was before his NRL debut. It's a massive achievement that Stanley played first grade, all things considered. Capable of playing anywhere in the backline, Stanley was a regular in 'Blues in Waiting' Origin camps throughout his short career. However tragedy struck again in 2012; another ACL injury. Stanley suffered a reoccurrence four months later that forced him to miss 2013 entirely. The ever-inspirational Stanley managed another nine games in 2014 as well as three Tests for Samoa at the end-of-season Four Nations. Sadly, upon signing with the Cronulla Sharks, Stanley suffered an unfathomable fifth ACL injury that forced the then 24-year-old into retirement.