McGregot the man to coach the Dragons long-term: Frizell

WEIGHT LIFTED: St George Illawarra forward Tyson Frizell is relieved to have sorted out his long-term future well in advance of the 2017 season. Picture: Adam McLean
WEIGHT LIFTED: St George Illawarra forward Tyson Frizell is relieved to have sorted out his long-term future well in advance of the 2017 season. Picture: Adam McLean

ST GEORGE forward Tyson Frizell believes Paul McGregor has done enough in the Dragons flying start to the season to earn a contract extension, but the club won’t be rushing into a decision on their coach’s future.

McGregor endured a firestorm of criticism at the end of a dismal 2016 campaign but has silenced his critics in emphatic fashion with his side sitting at the top of the table after seven rounds.

It’s seen him closing in on a contract extension with the club he captained in its inagural season, though CEO Peter Doust has said the board is in no hurry to lock McGegor down beyond this season. 

With games against heavyweights Melbourne and Cronulla to follow Tuesday’s Anzac Day clash with the Roosters, a decision prior to the club’s round 12 bye appears unlikely.

Frizell re-committed to the club on a three-year contract extension – keeping him at the club until 2010 – prior to last year’s Four Nations and said he hopes to play under McGregor for the length of that deal. 

“I’ve played my best footy under Mary so of course I’d like him to stay,” Frizell said.

“I definitely think he deserves an opportunity to stay at the club longer and I’d love nothing more than to see him here long term.

“We’re the only people that really see how much effort and how much passion Mary does put into our team. He’s the first one here and the last to leave and all the little things like that.

“He’s played for the club his whole life, now he’s able to coach and I probably couldn’t see Mary coaching anywhere else. The fact is those things happen but if we can keep playing good footy hopefully we can see Mary here for a while.”

Talk of McGregor’s future has taken a back seat in recent weeks to ongoing speculation surrounding off-contract pair Gareth Widdop and Josh Dugan that threatens to overshadow the club’s 6-1 start to the year.

McGregor was visibly frustrated by the persistent questions regarding the star duo that hijacked Wednesday’s launch of the traditional Anzac Day clash.

They’re just two puzzle pieces in the most chaotic open market in recent memory and Frizell said he is relieved to have sorted out his long-term future well in advance of the 2017 season.

“It’s absolutely something thing I don’t like to leave to the very end,” Frizell said.

“I guess some players are able to do it but for myself I probably would dwell on it in the back of my mind.

“I’m very happy to have sorted that out and it lets me just worry about playing good footy for the team knowing it’s sorted. I suppose your future within the NRL is never fully secure but I’m happy that, for the time-being, it is.”