Amid all the uncertainly surrounding coach Anthony Griffin's future at the Dragons, Josh Kerr is the first domino to fall.
It was confirmed on Wednesday morning - 16 hours after the Dragons heartbreaking 27-26 loss to the Roosters in the annual Anzac Day match - that Kerr would not be donning the 'Red V' jersey in 2024.
Instead, Kerr will be back at his boyhood club for the 2024 and 2025 NRL seasons where he will reunite with Wayne Bennett - his 2020 Queensland State of Origin coach.
Kerr went on to make his NRL debut with the Dragons in 2019 and has now played 61 matches in the 'Red V', including yesterday's Anzac Day clash against the Roosters.
"Josh is an example of a good young Dolphins player that had to head to first Melbourne and then Sydney to make it in the NRL. Now he will be able to represent his junior club in the best rugby league competition in the world," Dolphins' chief executive Terry Reader said.
After being one of the side's shining sparks so far in 2023, the move back to Redcliffe is a massive loss for the Dragons as pressure on head coach continues for Griffin, with the side currently 14th on the ladder with 2-5 record to start the season.
Just last week, Kerr implored St George Illawarra officials to make a decision on Anthony Griffin, admitting he feared for his coach's mental health amid intense media scrutiny.
Following the side's loss to the Roosters on Tuesday, captain Ben Hunt said that inconsistency was the team's biggest issue.
"It's encouraging and also frustrating," he said.
"It's encouraging that we've got the ability to do it, but we need to do it more consistently. I guess it was the first 20 minutes that was the most disappointing of the game. We know that they start fast, and we just needed to match it with them and go with them for a while, and we didn't do that. And in the end, I think that's what cost us.
"I definitely expected it was coming (Keary field goal). I was calling for it, telling people to get pressure on him, but the boys in the middle were in a washing machine. But it was pretty disappointing, it was pretty obvious that they were going to go for a field goal.
The Dragons will have a short turn around when they face the Bulldogs on Sunday in Wollongong. The side's casualty ward list grew longer after the Roosters game with Tautau Moga injuring his shoulder in the contest. He joins Jayden Su'A (shoulder), Mikaele Ravalawa (hamstring), Alec Tuitavake (knee) and Josh Coric (knee) on the layout list.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have made a huge call at the selection table, with Kyle Flanagan being dropped following the side's three losses on the trot. He is replaced by Josh Reynolds in the number six jersey, where the veteran will partner Matt Burton.
Kickoff at WIN Stadium on Sunday is 4:05pm.
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