The Dragons are reportedly contemplating a drastic identify change because the membership continues to reel from a disastrous 2022.
The joint-venture membership has reportedly proposed the choice of wiping the time period “Illawarra” from its identify and reverting again to the St George Dragons.
The Each day Telegraph experiences the proposal may wipe out the previous “Illawarra Steelers” all collectively after the 2 golf equipment merged in 1998.
The report reveals membership members have been despatched a survey with one of many questions itemizing a number of choices for potential identify adjustments. The names embrace:
— St George Dragons
— Southern Dragons
— Higher Sydney Dragons
— The Dragons
— St George Illawarra Dragons
Regardless of the clear slight to the Wollongong fanbase, the membership is dedicated to the Illawarra area, per the report, with authorities funding contributing to plans to construct a $50 million centre of excellence on the College of Wollongong.
The survey additionally requested to what extent followers agreed with the phrase: “The period of the St George and Illawarra Steelers has handed and we should now look to the long run as one”.
The divisive subject drew speedy outrage in fan boards and Reddit teams.
Dragons historian and creator of Spirit of the Pink V: A Century of Dragons Rugby League Geoff Armstrong was not glad when talking on SEN Breakfast on Thursday morning.
“After I noticed the story this morning, I’m simply completely bemused by it,” he mentioned.
“For my part the nice St George Illawarra model, the massive metropolis membership and the close by area has a chance to be a powerhouse if solely the membership had embraced all of the issues that make it so particular.
“As an alternative they appear to wish to run away from the issues that make them particular.
“With all the issues they’ve been having over the previous few months, altering the identify would really change nothing. I truthfully don’t perceive.
“They’ve all this historical past and all this custom but they appear to wish to run away from that. “It virtually spooks me out as a fan. I simply want that St George Illawarra would cease pondering of themselves as two separate factions.
“To say that the period of the period of St George and the Steelers has handed, these golf equipment dwell on within the joint-venture. They’re an vital a part of the joint-venture and it actually frustrates me when the present administration needs to run away from that.”
It comes after latest report of the membership being in turmoil proper from the manager stage all the way down to the dressing room.
Star playmaker Ben Hunt in October was awarded the membership’s participant of the 12 months gong on the Dragons’ awards evening, however remarkably solely three gamers — Hunt, Zac Lomax and Michael Molo — attended the occasion.
The occasion was rescheduled to a later date and fell at a time when gamers had been on annual go away since their season ended on September 3.
Regardless of this, Hunt slammed his teammates when requested about it whereas he was with the Kangaroos throughout their World Cup marketing campaign within the UK.
“I did hear after it that there was a few guys that had been in Sydney and I believe that’s fairly disrespectful,” Hunt mentioned.
“You’re a part of the membership, you’ve labored laborious all 12 months taking part in for them, you need to come and rejoice the 12 months.”
The snub has been interpreted by many as additional proof of participant unrest in direction of Griffin, who heads into the 2023 season with out a contract for 2024.
Regardless of Hunt’s career-best season that made him a contender for the Dally M Medal and halfback of the 12 months, the Dragons completed tenth an outdoor the highest eight in one other disappointing season.
Hunt has agreed to a contract extension that can preserve him on the membership till the top of the 2025 season.
The membership has been hit with claims of participant unrest in latest months with younger gun Tyrell Sloan reportedly asking to be launched from his contract to hitch the Dolphins earlier than backflipping to stay on the Dragons.
Increase expertise Jayden Sullivan additionally reportedly needed to be launched to be able to be part of the Bulldogs earlier than he additionally withdrew his request.
They head into 2023 rated a $3.75 probability with TAB of constructing the highest eight.