Former St George Illawarra star Jason Nightingale is predicting some of his unheralded teammates to make a name for themselves at this weekend's NRL Nines.
The Dragons named their squad for the competition on Tuesday, with the likes of Tyson Frizell, Ben Hunt and Cameron McInnes to play alongside young guns Tristan Sailor, Cody Ramsey and Jayden Sullivan.
Nightingale will also line up for the Red V, the winger playing for the first time since retiring in 2018.
With the abbreviated format geared towards speedy and mobile athletes, Nightingale expects some of the club's emerging stars to shine this weekend.
"We trained today and there were a few people standing out, which is exciting to see," Nightingale said. "There's a few good players there, it will be the first time a lot of people have sighted them on the field or on TV.
"Young Jayden Sullivan and Cody Ramsey should have great weekends, Benny Hunt should also go well. Playing in the Australian Nines team last year, he's got a bit of a jump."
This weekend's event marks the club's first showing since a disastrous 2019 campaign that saw the Dragons finish second last.
An off-season of upheaval followed and question marks remain over a number of key roles, including the vacant fullback position.
Zac Lomax, Matt Dufty and Sailor are all vying for the no. 1 jumper, with Dufty and Sailor handed an opportunity to shine in Perth.
While Nightingale expects both players to impress, he said the Nines will only play a small role in determining who ultimately wins the race.
"Matt's looking super fit, he's moving really well and he'd be chomping at the bit for a run. He'll definitely be a standout this competition.
"I don't think this will be a springboard for him, the pre-season and all the work he's done will be the springboard. He's worked really hard on his body, he's looking very fit and healthy and he's as fast as ever.
"The trials are where he'll push for the fullback jumper. It's not just the trials, but all the work in and around the place. What we see on the field is a small portion of the week. Everything done behind closed doors and on the training field is what matters.
"Matt and all the squad have worked hard, if it translates to the field, that's when spots are cemented and when people are putting hands up."
Nightingale's relationship with Sailor dates back a long way, the 33-year-old playing with Tristan's father Wendell throughout his two-year stint at the Dragons.
While Wendell and Tristan have contrasting body shapes, both are phenomenally talented athletes.
Tristan enters the season looking to build on the three games he played at the back end of last year and Nightingale expects the 21-year-old to enjoy a long and fruitful career.
"I trained with Tristan two years ago when he was in the squad, so it's pretty exciting to play with two different generations of Sailors.
"They're two different players and people, but his genetics come from big Dell and (mum) Tara as well.
"It's cool to see they're different players, the things Tristan's good at, maybe his dad wasn't, the things his dad was good at, Tristan will not be able to do physically.
"We saw glimpses of his talent last year, he'll be looking to improve and play more first grade this year."
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