Recuits aim to join Dragons history - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Recuits aim to join Dragons history

Joe Barton 12/02/2011 04:01:42 PM Comments (0)

For two new St George Illawarra recruits, Sunday's Charity Shield clash against South Sydney will provide an opportunity for NRL redemption.

Winning back-to-back competitions have proved an impossible task for nearly two decades in the NRL, but St George Illawarra are in the perfect position to break the drought.

Generally, the salary cap bites hard and teams lose some of their best stars.

The Dragons haven't completely escaped the trend - losing hardened forwards Jeremy Smith (Cronulla), Neville Costigan (Newcastle) and Jarrod Saffy (Melbourne Rebels rugby union) - but with two underrated recruits, and a returning star, they appear better placed than ever to give the competition a shake.

Hardworking prop Dan Hunt, who missed the bulk of 2010 with a ruptured Achilles injury and recently signed a three year extension with the club, will play his first game in more than seven months, while the club will also showcase their two major off-season purchases.

Former Manly and Cronulla back-rower Adam Cuthbertson has earned much of the attention this off-season due to a change in attitude and fortunes, but there is another young forward who could have just as big an impact.

Penrith junior Daniel Penese, 22, is very much in the mould of another ex-Panther, new Bulldogs recruit Frank Pritchard, but after playing just twice in two years under Matt Elliott, the youngster sought a change of scenery.

And he won't get a better opportunity to impress master coach Wayne Bennett than in the Charity Shield, which Penese has always kept an eye on as the traditional precursor to the NRL season.

"I'm looking forward to playing some footy and especially the Charity Shield," said Penese.

"I've seen a lot of the clashes growing up so hopefully I will experience some first-hand.

"The boys here have been extraordinary and have welcomed me into the group with open arms.

"I see it as an honour to put on the Red V as it's been around for quite awhile and has a lot of history - hopefully I can become a part of that."

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