The problems at St George Illawarra show no sign of abating with young gun local junior Jayden Sullivan’s management intending to continue to push the Dragons for a release.
Sullivan’s management submitted a request for a second release from the Red V last Friday and will continue to try and force the issue as the Dragons come under fire in the off season.
Weak management from St George Illawarra has left the club open to ridicule over the course of the last 48 hours as Red V players George Burgess and Jack Gosiewski have both taken aim at coach Anthony Griffin.
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The headlines have made for ugly reading and off the back of only three NRL players showing up at the club’s awards night there is clearly an undercurrent of disharmony.
The Dragons management initially backed themselves into a corner by granting Griffin an extension for 2023 before a ball was kicked this season.
They’ve now been forced to sit back and watch on as it has spectacularly blown up yet still there is a feeling at the club they are reluctant to have the hard conversations.
The question the Dragons decision makers need to ask themselves is do they see Griffin being the St George Illawarra coach beyond 2023?
If the answer is no – as most expect it is – then is it really worth simply trying to tread water for another 12 months in the hope they can convince Cowboys assistant coach and Red V premiership-winner Dean Young to return home?
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Or are they better off making the tough decision now in the hope it is probably what is in the best interests of everyone involved at the club.
While the Dragons have to date blocked the release requests from young gun Sullivan, the halfback’s agent Mario Tartak has confirmed they intend to continue to push the club to allow the local junior to walk.
The latest formal request for a release was submitted last Friday and the Sullivan camp are determined it will be granted.
The reasoning from the Sullivan camp is simple. When the talented rookie signed until the end of 2025 in November of last year there were assurances made about him wearing the Red no.7 jumper.
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That path has now been blocked by the Dragons decision to sign captain Ben Hunt through until the end of 2025 on a new two-year extension.
While no one is suggesting St George Illawarra should have refrained from re-signing their captain, the Sullivan situation has all been caused by the Dragons.
In 2022, Sullivan played nine NRL games starting seven from the interchange bench, one at hooker and one at halfback.
The solitary halfback appearance was during the State of Origin period when skipper Hunt was unavailable.
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs are sitting back monitoring the situation and will be in position to strike should the Dragons grant the release.