St George Illawarra coach Steve Price has revealed rookie halfback Josh Drinkwater is not up to NRL selection yet, but could figure in a matter of weeks.
Price has discussed with the former Manly under 20s star the areas he needs to work on to break into the Dragons line-up.
Drinkwater has recovered from a shoulder problem sustained in the NSW Cup, declaring earlier this week he would be available.
The Illawarra Cutters have the bye this weekend.
"Josh has a little bit to go," Price said.
"He fully understands what he needs to work on in his game. He's still a couple of weeks away.
"Whether it's a couple of weeks, half way through the year or even at the end of the year I'm not quite sure. He fully understands what he needs to improve in his game and he'll work on that and get it right."
Price refused to discuss any plans to bring Josh Dugan to the club, but the Mercury understands the club is yet to make an offer.
"That's not something I really get involved in," he said. "It is media speculation. As I've said for a number of weeks now we're always interested in quality football players and he's a quality football player.
"Other than that, I've got nothing really to add in that regard."