Creagh signs up for front-rowers' club

RUGBY LEAGUE

Dragons captain Ben Creagh spent most of the pre-season wrestling with a new job in the front row but it's taken a back seat to his new role, fatherhood, this week.

Creagh and wife Aislinn welcomed Ellis Creagh to the world on Monday, days before his 29th birthday.

"It's very exciting times for me and my wife with the new little man in our lives," Creagh said.

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"He was five weeks early so it was a bit of a surprise for us but he's healthy and he's going great."

The welcome addition caps an exciting preseason for the skipper, who finds himself an old head in a young and vibrant side.

"It's a new team, it's a fresh start and I'm really looking forward to it," Creagh said.

"It's exciting for the club, all the young guys we've had debut over the last couple of years and watching them progress as players and also all the new guys.

"I've never been at the club when we've had so many new guys come to us.

"Everyone's competing hard and trying to prove themselves a little bit.

"I think that healthy competition is great for the team and I really think it will show in our performances in 2014."

This year also marks a new beginning for Creagh on the career front as he looks to make a successful transition to the front row after he spent the bulk of his career as a left-edge back-rower.

Creagh was used sporadically upfront during the 2013 season as the Dragons battled a hefty injury toll but feels, with a full pre-season under his belt, ready to embrace the switch.

"It's a bit of a change for me. I've played back row for most of my career, so it's been good learning a new position," he said.

"It's a lot different playing 80 minutes in the back row to playing 35-minute stints in the front row twice a game.

"I've had a full preseason now in the front row which gives me a bit of confidence and I'm looking forward to playing there.

"There's a bit of healthy competition there nipping at my heels with some of the players we've got.

"The young front-rowers we've got in our club are going great, guys like Jack de Belin, Jack Stockwell and Dan Hunt, so if everyone stays fit it's going to be a great year for us."

Creagh was rested from last night's trial match against Mudgee at Kogarah.

"This preseason I'm probably the fittest I've been," he said.

"I've done a lot more running than I have in previous years because of different surgeries I've had, so I'm feeling fit and fresh."

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