Blake Lawrie believes competition within the side - particularly in the forwards - will drive St George Illawarra towards finals next year.
The new signings add depth to the Dragons squad and put pressure on the likes of Lawrie to perform, after the side finished 11th this year. However, the former Dapto junior is happy to embrace the challenge.
"It's been a good break, but it's time for us to work as a squad. It was disappointing last year so it's all about new things this year," Lawrie said.
"We've got a lot of new faces coming in so I've got to assert my role in the team. Hopefully we can build connections with the new guys coming in. They've come in with a lot of experience and they bolster our forward pack. Our pack is pretty stacked, I think some quality players are going to miss out, so I need to earn my keep and hopefully be there round one.
"I've always been competitive, I don't like losing. I don't think anyone likes losing. You need to be competitive in every aspect of this sport. You don't want to leave a stone unturned and you've got to work hard to be the best. It's as simple as that."
Next year will be Lawrie's fifth season in the red v. After getting a taste of NRL action in 2017 and 2018, the 24-year-old has become a mainstay in St George Illawarra's side in recent seasons. He added 21 games to his resume in 2021 to take his tally to 79 games.
However, the forward believes there's plenty of room for improvement.
"I'm obviously aiming to get better," Lawrie said.
"But 'Hook' (coach Anthony Griffin) has a lot of trust in me. We don't really talk much about football, he sort of lets the assistant coaches to do that. It's more about making sure your head's right to train and perform the best you can."
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, pleasesubscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.