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Sloan wants to be Dragons' generational answer at No.1

3 minute read

St George Illawarra have cycled through 19 fullbacks since Darius Boyd's 2011 exit, but Tyrell Sloan has set his sights on being the solution to that problem.

DARIUS BOYD.
DARIUS BOYD. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Tyrell Sloan has laid bare his desire to be St George Illawarra's long-term answer at fullback and end the club's exhaustive search for a generational solution at No.1.

Sloan inked a new two-year deal with the Dragons late last week, before celebrating his extension through to 2026 with Friday night's 56-14 flogging of Wests Tigers.

A NSW south coast junior, Sloan has endured a rocky path with the club since his 2021 debut, with stints in and out of the No.1 jersey.

The Dragons have also flirted with other options.

Coach Shane Flanagan went public in his desire for Joey Manu last summer and talking to Sunia Turuva about a possible move this year that could have involved playing fullback.

Since Darius Boyd's exit at the end of 2011, St George Illawarra have cycled through 19 men at fullback.

No player has run out in more than 100 games in the No.1, with Brett Morris, Jason Nightingale, Matt Dufty and Cody Ramsey all having extended stints there.

Sloan has now played 48 games at the back, and it is a jersey he wants to make his own for the long haul.

"That's always been in the back of my mind, (being the Dragons' long-term No.1)," Sloan said.

"I've always thought about where I'd end up, but I don't want to be anywhere else but here.

"I know I can't do that unless I put good performances on the board week in week out, but I don't want to be anywhere else.

"It'd be cool to be a one-club player. I'm still young. I'll be only 24 when I end that deal, but that is definitely the idea.

"I don't see myself in any other jersey, except for a Blues one maybe in a couple years."

Sloan is also certain that he has a lot of improvement in him.

Last season was meant to be his first in the Dragons' top-30 squad, before he was rushed into his NRL debut at age 19.

Flanagan has made a point to try to make the 22-year-old physically tougher, with defence having been the main question mark around Sloan in the past.

"I know Flanno believes in me a lot," Sloan said ahead of Sunday's clash with Manly.

"It is pleasing to know that the club does back me. But for me, it's not to get complacent.

"I love the hard work of the game. I want to keep continuing to grow. I want to be in those conversations of the better fullbacks, and not just continue floating.

"I'm still young, so I'm still learning how to be a first-grader."

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