Building strongly for both the remainder of this year and years to come, the development of the St George Illawarra Dragons side into a premiership threat is a very real one.
With the need for big boppers – as their fans put it – and additional forward depth in light of injuries, the St George Illawarra Dragons have signed Gold Coast Titans forward Mark Ioane and Mounties prop Luke Page.
Additionally, the club have also announced the signing of Melbourne Storm utility Kurt Mann on a two-year deal from next year.
Ioane and Page will join the Dragons for the remainder of the season, after being granted releases by their clubs.
Ioane, still only 24, has played in 23 NRL games to date and after coming through the ranks as a successful junior within the New Zealand Warriors Holden Cup side, a new challenge beckons for the Otahuhu Leopards junior.
Page, also 24, joins the club from the Raiders and has enjoyed a cult following since videos of powerful runs emerged on Youtube, that showed him bulldozing over defenders in the NSW Cup for Mounties.
The depth is crucial and the Dragons are pleased to welcome the duo to the club for the remainder of the season.
â€œBoth Ioane and Luke have respectively been recruited to add important depth to the current playing roster and provide cover where needed within the forward-pack,â€ said Dragons Director of Recruitment & Retention Peter Mulholland.
â€œBoth players demonstrate a willingness to play their role in the squad and we look forward to providing them with an opportunity to continue their own development.â€
As for Kurt Mann, the two-time U20’s representative for QLD started his career at the Winton Devils before a couple of seasons with the Newcastle Knights U20’s side. With 21 NRL games to date, he will join the Dragons in November.
Knowing that his form would see him go on the open market, the Storm are disappointed to see him go but know that his effort will be top-notch for the remainder of the season.
â€œKurt has played some very good football since making his NRL debut last year, so we were not surprised he attracted offers from other clubs,â€ said Melbourne’s Director of Football, Frank Ponissi.
â€œHe is a terrific young man and well liked at the Club and while we are disappointed not to be able to retain his services, we wish him the best and know he will finish the season with the right attitude.â€