Jersey Flegg and the Dragons in 2007
Written by Dragons Media
27 October 2006
There has been some public discussion over the past weeks relating
to the rugby league structure of the Dragons for 2007 and beyond.
A decision, arising from discussions between the Board of Directors,
Management, Coaching Staff and our Rugby League Executive, has
been made to NOT ENTER a team in the New South Wales Rugby Leagues
Jersey Flegg competition in 2007.
We should note that discussion on such a strategic rugby league
decision had been taking place for a long period of time. It
was agreed that our Club should move quickly and effectively
to prepare for the codes overall re-structure, planned
for 2008 which will see the introduction of the widely discussed
National Youth Competition - an Under 20 competition where all
NRL teams will have an Under 20 team to play prior to their
matches for each of the 26 weeks of the regular season.
The big picture perspective on these changes related
to the need to;
- establish a more National rugby league perspective
in competitions, across all 16 NRL teams, not just NSW based
- re-structure the NSW rugby league competitions
so they can continue to be effective for rugby league, from
the grass roots to the elite level
- ensure that NRL Clubs continue to improve their financial
Therefore, the St George Illawarra Dragons will field only
two competitive teams in 2007,
- Premier League
In 2008, the Under 20s will be back through the National Youth
Competition, along with the NRL team
again only two teams
fielded by the Dragons.
As normal, St George District Rugby League Club and the Illawarra
Steelers will field Matthews and Ball teams in 2007 and beyond
a very important of our Pathway Management.
By 2008, the Pathway for rugby league players in
the St George Illawarra region will be as depicted by the following
Thus, the overall change for rugby league players in the St
George Illawarra region will relate to the over aged
(Over 20) Premier League type player, not in the full-time NRL
squad. Such players will be encouraged to continue their involvement
in rugby league through the Tooheys League or Jim Beam
Cup or a re-structured Premier League Competition within our
region therefore being able to be elevated to the Dragons
NRL team if required.
Next year will be a transition year because we
still have some of those over age players on contract.
Overall, the Dragons for a number of years now, have invested
heavily, strategically and effectively in the development of
our juniors. This variation in structure does not undermine
our commitment to this strategy and will not in any way diminish
the opportunities for young elite rugby league players, across
Moreover it will effectively prepare our Club for 2008 and
work to ensure we remain a powerhouse in the game
of rugby league from the grass roots level through
On October 11, we wrote to all Dragons rugby league staff thanking
them for their contributions throughout 2006 and asked for expressions
of interest for positions in 2007, indicating that we would
be running one less team (no Jersey Flegg in 2007) and we outlined
the reasons why.
This internal correspondence was unfortunately leaked to the
media before full and planned communication could be completed.
Dragons Management has had discussions with the executive of
the St George District Rugby League Football Club and the Illawarra
Steelers who support our strategy and we will be more widely
communicating with the rugby league community over the next