Benji Marshall is certain to make his return from two matches out due to a hamstring injury for St George Illawarra in their round five NRL clash against North Queensland on Saturday night.
Superstar playmaker Marshall has sat out Dragons’ wins over South Sydney and Penrith and is a key inclusion for the joint venture in Townsville.
But he returns ahead of a tough road trip for Paul McGregor’s side: they face last year’s grand finalists the Cowboys and Brisbane within nine days.
“Benji is definitely playing this week,” McGregor said on Wednesday.
“My medical staff said he was close last week so he should be a certain starter.
“His experience is invaluable and he brings a lot of energy and a lot of trust to the football team.
“It has worked out ideally. We have won our last two games and he hasn’t been a part of it.
“You don’t want to risk a player as valuable as him early in the year.”
The Dragons are 2-2 after losing to Melbourne and Cronulla in the opening fortnight of the season. The matches against the Cowboys and Broncos will give a good indication of what fans can expect from them in 2016.
“The two grand finalists from last year … it is a tough double,” McGregor said.
“We will be on the road for nine days, but the boys like being together and it is something we are looking forward to.”