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Hunt wants to stay at NRL Dragons: Griffin

3 minute read

St George Illawarra coach Anthony Griffin says in-form playmaker Ben Hunt is keen to remain with the Dragons after his contract expires at the end of 2023.

ANTHONY GRIFFIN, Coach of the Panthers.
ANTHONY GRIFFIN, Coach of the Panthers. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty Images

Ben Hunt is keen to remain with St George Illawarra when his lucrative contract expires at the end of 2023, according to coach Anthony Griffin.

The in-form playmaker led the race for the Dally M Medal before voting went behind closed doors in round 12 and his career-best form has the Dragons fighting for a spot in the finals.

Hunt's current contract is worth a reported $1.1 million per season but expires at the end of next year, meaning the halfback is free to negotiate with rival clubs from November.

He turns 33 in March so his next contract may be his last but Griffin said he would nevertheless command significant interest from rivals if he chose to test the open market.

"The form he's in, there'd be 15 clubs interested in him," he said.

"Any club worth their salt would be looking at their cap and their halves position to see if he could fit in their list."

Hunt's contract talks have begun and Griffin believes the outcome will favour the Dragons.

"That's sort of taking place in the background. The club has started that. I've had a chat to Ben and he's positive about staying here," he said.

St George Illawarra must defeat third-placed Cronulla in Saturday night's derby to keep their faint finals hopes alive.

The Dragons are two games out of the top eight with an inferior points differential that essentially sets them back another win, so cannot afford to drop their fourth game in five weeks.

"Cronulla in Cronulla is a tough away trip," Griffin said.

"It's a game we've got to win. We're looking forward to the challenge."

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