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Dragons sign Burns in Blacker swap

St George Illawarra have confirmed the signing of Penrith Panthers back-rower Billy Burns until at least the end of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership season.

The Parkes Spacemen junior's signature follows the Dragons release of front-rower Eddie Blacker from the remainder of his contract. Blacker will replace Burns at the foot of the mountains.

The 22-year-old Burns has played 12 first grade games to date, and will join Andrew McCullough, Daniel Alvaro, Jack Bird and Poasa Faamausili as 2021 Dragons recruits.

"Billy has cut his teeth in the NRL at Penrith and his signing will allow for greater balance with regards to our squad depth," Dragons general manager of football Ben Haran said.

"Eddie's release will provide him with a great opportunity to press his claims in the Panthers' system.

"It's also important to note that we remain active in the player market for an experienced middle."

Blacker joined St George Illawarra from the Broncos in 2019 and played one NRL game.

The Dragons would like to thank Eddie for his contribution at the Red V and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.