THE race for the Dragons No.7 jumper remains on in earnest and veteran forward Tariq Sims believes it’s only going to benefit the club come round one.
Many people put a line through the Dragons as finals contenders the moment news of Drew Hutchison’s season-ending ACL injury broke with Josh McCrone, Kurt Mann, Shaun Nona and Jai Field all in the running to fill the void.
All four showed glimpses of their ability in the Dragons 20-10 trial win over Wests Tigers and Sims is confident any one of the quartet can do the job if called upon for round one.
“I think it’s really healthy competition and the boys are only going to benefit from it,” Sims said.
“If they’re fighting for a position every week there’s only one way to get that spot and that’s to play your best footy week-in week-out.
“Joshy’s got that old head on his shoulders and he really knows how to steer the ship around, especially when we’re under fatigue.
“As for young Jai Field, he’s one of those players where he’s really exciting and he’s learning how to play with men. I think [the Tigers game] will really benefit him.
“I know if he gets a spot next week [for the Charity Shield] that will definitely be an eye-opener for him but the only way is up for him.
“As long as he can keep healthy and keep working on his body weight and stays a student of the game he’s going to be a great player at the back end of his years.
“Gaz [Gareth Widdop] is our skipper and our leader but the way Mary’s picking our team now even his spot’s up for grabs as well because we’ve got so much depth.”