The Dragons of 2019 have been a horror show, so let’s begin planning for 2020.
If the club insists on persevering with Paul McGregor, he can at least get his top 17 right – starting with Round 1.
Here’s my blueprint for a Dragons side that can succeed in 2020.
1. Tristan Sailor. After only one game I like what I see. Has more skills than hot-and-cold Matt Dufty.
2. Jason Saab. At nearly two metres tall, he offers a great aerial target.
3. Zac Lomax. A great young talent wasted on the wing. Put him closer to the action.
4. Mikaele Ravalawa. An odd choice, but he played at centre for Fiji this year. He may have handling issues but is a big body and would be a handful.
5. Jonus Pearson. Has struggled for games this season but has genuine pace.
6. Corey Norman. Won two consecutive games on his own and is a great runner.
7. Ben Hunt. Experienced halfback and cops far too much criticism. Smart player.
8. Blake Lawrie. A great young prospect, ‘Blocker’ is ready to assume the role of starting prop.
9. Cameron McInnes. Had a great 2019 and would be NSW and possibly Australian hooker if Damien Cook went down. Great leadership qualities.
10. Paul Vaughan. Has continued to shine in a difficult year for the club.
11. Tyson Frizell. Needs to run wide of the ruck instead of being used as a battering ram.
12. Jackson Ford. Has been starring for the Canterbury Cup side all season, and finally got a run late in the NRL campaign. Showed he belongs at that level.
13. Luciano Leilua. Has great hands for a big body and provides a bit of x-factor. A special player.
14. Jai Field. The club tried to offload him recently, but if he remains, he is too good for reserve grade.
15. James Graham. Would provide better service off the bench as the years of toil are catching up with him.
16. Tariq Sims. Had a quiet 2019 and needs to lift in 2020 as he is too inconsistent.
17. Korbin Sims. Like Tariq, he is inconsistent but provides good punch from the bench.