Why St George Illawarra need a long-term plan

Dragons coach Paul McGregor conducts an interview before Monday's match against the Rabbitohs. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Dragons coach Paul McGregor conducts an interview before Monday's match against the Rabbitohs. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Paul McGregor had a tough initiation at the helm of the Dragons on Monday night, but I think what St George Illawarra do off the field in the next six months is going to be arguably more important than what they do on it.

It's obvious they need to get into the marketplace and really beef up their pack. They shouldn't just be looking for a quick fix either - they have to be planning for four and five years down the track.

That's where they've been left short-changed after the all-out pursuit of a premiership in the Wayne Bennett era.

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They might have to pay overs to get some big boppers, but they desperately need some blokes who can start laying a platform for their talented backline.

I've watched them pretty closely over the past few weeks and, unlike some others, I couldn't accuse them of not trying.

I just think it's a case of being purely overpowered by the bigger-bodied packs.

With the crackdown on third-man-in laws and the like, you need big lumps who can carry the ball strongly and take a couple of defenders with them.

Back to McGregor for a sec, it's going to take time. There's not going to be a quick fix.

He'll have an idea about the style of play he'll want to implement and how he'll stamp his authority.

He's going to try things like moving Josh Dugan to centre.

It should be encouraged.

What I do know is the Red V need to do well for the sake of the league. They've got such a strong following and for the success of the NRL there needs to be a successful Dragons.

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