A newer team overall given the joint venture but the St George Illawarra Dragons have still seen quality players.
A premiership under Wayne Bennett, some good seasons but also some bad seasons, the road has not been easy for the the Dragons.
But where there are hard times, there are good times.
So here are our picks for the greatest St George Illawarra Dragons players ever:
- Ben Hornby – Proved his utility value early on but it was his work at custodian put him on the map. Later moved to halfback.
2. Jason Nightingale – A quality finisher for the Dragons, the man nicknamed ‘Flossy’ or ‘Gypsy’ loved a good try. He ran hard and quickly became a fan favourite.
3. Matt Cooper – A hard-running and gifted centre, Cooper had the looks to match his on-field play. His ability was on show for all to see and he was there through the good and bad.
4. Mark Gasnier – Playing alongside Cooper for years, Gasnier was the yin to Cooper’s yang. Physically imposing and strong, Gasnier quickly cemented his spot as an elite centre in the game.
5. Nathan Blacklock – The man from Tingha. He set try-scoring records, scored tries for fun, and all of it made Blacklock an electrifying winger. One of the best of his time.
6. Jamie Soward – A crafty player, Soward was always on the lookout for a defensive weakness to exploit either with a darting run or a classy kick.
7. Trent Barrett – A gifted player, even from a young age, people knew Barrett would shine at the Dragons. A deft kicking game, a solid passing game, Barrett often stood out.
8. Jason Ryles – 2001 is when Ryles came into his own as a player and he did not look back. He ran with heart and passion, and put the defence on notice.
9. Mark Riddell – The man they called Piggy. If he wasn’t winning fans over with his larrikin ways, it was his unique goal-kicking style. It gave him cult status and the fans would mimic him as he took goals.
10. Chris Leikvoll – Just a hard worker, a tenacious player and one that would bust his backside in attack and defence every week.
11. Ben Creagh – Started out as a centre/winger but made the move to back-row. A consistent performer, Creagh was a long-term mainstay of the Dragons side.
12. Lance Thompson – One of the hardest workers on the footy field, his consistency was lauded by many fans and he quickly became a favourite.
13. Dean Young – Every team needs a guy like Dean Young. He was the Dragons heart and soul. Not flashy but he didn’t need to be; he was ever-present, always giving 100%.
14. Trent Merrin – Some of Merrin’s best years of rugby league have come at the Dragons. A hard-running, mobile forward, Merrin was known for his offloading ability.
15. Shaun Timmins – Just 17 when he debuted, it was evident Timmins had talent. Became a Dragons mainstay at centre but dabbled in the back-row as well, among other positions.
16. Brett Morris – Speed, strength, and skill, Brett Morris had it all. For years, he’s been an elite winger and he was a prolific try-scorer for the Dragons.
17. Dan Hunt – A surprise? Perhaps, but he worked hard, helped lay a platform and put the Dragons in good positions with consistent forward play.