The last eighteen months have been somewhat of a rollercoaster for Raymond Faitala-Mariner for a few reasons but the forward can look to the future, signing a two-year deal at the St George Illawarra Dragons.

Failing out of favour at the Bulldogs for what media reports suggested was a criticism of the training methods of the coach among other things, his signing at the Dragons came about after the Bulldogs released him.

The Bulldogs release statement was short and sweet, simply reading:

“Raymond Faitala-Mariner has been granted an immediate release from his contract with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

The Club has agreed to terms with Faitala-Mariner, granting the release so he can take up an opportunity at another NRL Club.

Faitala-Mariner has been a positive contributor to the Bulldogs both on and off the field.

He has run out for the Club on 102 occasions and the Bulldogs would like to thank him for his hard work and commitment during his time at Belmore.

The Club wishes him, and his family, all the best for the future.”

For the Dragons, who still have uncertainties about the makeup of their forward pack, add extra experience and grunt with the addition of Faitala-Mariner.

With 114 NRL games to his name across the New Zealand Warriors and the Bulldogs, the Dragons believe he can be a handy signing.

“Raymond is a veteran first-grader who will add some experience and grit to our forward pack,” said Dragons head coach Shane Flanagan.

“His ability to play both on an edge and in the middle, as well as the guidance he can provide our emerging forwards, will benefit our entire squad.

“We’re excited to welcome him to training this week as we continue our preparation for the 2024 season.”

By ricky

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