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Thread: Dragons chase Wallabies star as club sets date for Lomax exit talks

  1. #1
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    Oct 2005
    Country WA

    Dragons chase Wallabies star as club sets date for Lomax exit talks

    Story by Michael Chammas
    The Age

    St George Illawarra coach Shane Flanagan says the Dragons will not release Zac Lomax before the end of the season as the club considers a shock move for Wallabies star Jordan Petaia for 2025 and beyond.

    The Herald can reveal the Dragons have opened discussions with Petaia’s management, who also look after Sydney Roosters-bound Mark Nawaqanitawase, about linking with the Dragons once his Rugby Australia deal expires at the end of this year.

    It comes as the Dragons and Lomax’s management have agreed to put conversations about the outside back’s future on ice until after round four to give St George Illawarra the best opportunity to start the year strongly under their new coach.

    Petaia, who currently plays Super Rugby with the Queensland Reds, is also exploring rugby union options in France and Japan but has caught the eye of Flanagan.
    The 24-year-old has represented the Wallabies on 27 occasions, including in the last two World Cups, and is seen as a potential fullback or centre in rugby league.

    The Dragons could have an opening in the back line with the future of Lomax up in the air.

    Lomax had one of his best games in a Dragons jersey in the club’s first-up win over the Titans on Saturday night, but has been the topic of great conjecture recently as rival clubs circle the unsettled outside back.

    On the Gold Coast, he scored a try, kicked four goals and ran for 266 metres from the wing.

    Parramatta are one of the clubs who have expressed interest, but the Dragons insist Lomax doesn’t have permission to open negotiations with rival clubs formally.

    Flanagan has told this masthead he is open to a conversation around Lomax’s future if he is unhappy at the club but was adamant that he would not contemplate a release during this season.

    “He’s going nowhere,” Flanagan said. “We’ve told his management that we won’t be letting him go this year. If there’s a conversation to be had, we will have that in the future and it will be about next year.”

    Lomax still has two more years to run on his $800,000-a-season deal after this season. The Dragons believe he is their best wing option at this point despite Lomax’s preference to play in the centres or at fullback.

    “I think our back five are very powerful,” Dragons five-eighth Kyle Flanagan said. “Our forward pack is really fit and strong. It’s only baby steps with our first win of the season.

    “It’s good to get the season off to a good start. The Dragons haven’t won for the last couple of years away, especially in Queensland. To get that monkey off our back and win away from home, especially in Queensland, is a good start to our season.”

    Kyle Flanagan and new halves partner Ben Hunt starred alongside hat-trick hero Tyrell Sloan, confounding pre-season predictions the Red V would finish with the wooden spoon.

    “We take it on board,” Dragons back-rower Ray Faitala-Mariner said. “They don’t know what we’re doing down in Wollongong. [Those predictions are] in the back of our minds.”

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  2. #2
    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Why would they want to pay top dollar for Petaia as an untried RL fullback? They'd be better off upgrading Sloane. He's a gun. Pretty sure they could get a good strike centre for not much more than Lomax's $800k if he wants out. Managers ducks n drakes.

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  3. #3
    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    If the Dragons win more than they lose this season I think Lomax will likely cool on his request to leave. He surely couldn't command big $$$ from other clubs as a fullback or a centre after average form for a few years. Had an outstanding game on Saturday night out on the wing.

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