Mary admits rumours are dividing Dragons

St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor wants nothing to do with rumours linking suspended Parramatta star Corey Norman to the Dragons.

Instead, he admits ongoing reports surrounding player recruitment and retention have created a disharmonious environment at the NRL club.

“We’re connected to every player that is on the market at the moment,” McGregor said on Tuesday when asked about Norman.

“It’s been a real instability that’s divided the club in different places this year.

“The recruitment and retention guys, we’ve got two of them guys to look after that, and I’ve been answering questions from October last year and I’m just about over it.”

McGregor has time and time again been forced to answer questions surrounding the future of key players Benji Marshall, Mitch Rein and Joel Thompson this season.

Club captain Ben Creagh is also off-contract.

Meanwhile, Robbie Farah, Cooper Cronk, Luke Keary and Jackson Hastings have all been linked to the Dragons this season.

McGregor also publicly announced his interest in code-crossing star Jarryd Hayne when he quit the NFL earlier this season.

Norman, along with a number of the other mooted stars, would be a natural fit to replace the off-contract Marshall in the halves if they arrived at the club.

“I’ve always liked coaching Benji, I’ve always said that,” McGregor said.

“It’s really important that he continues to play well, because when he plays well our team plays well and that will obviously give him the best opportunity to get a contract.”

Marshall has struggled to link matches together this season, missing nine as he battles to overcome ongoing hamstring injuries.

But McGregor said his long-term health was not a determinant on whether he would earn a new contract.

“You’ve got to remember he’s only 31 – he’s not an old man,” McGregor said.

“It’s just that he has had an unfortunate recurrence of a hamstring injury which is for any player at any age, it’s unfortunate.”

The under-fire Dragons mentor also confirmed he was working with the club to try and have the ongoing suspensions hanging over Tim Lafai and Siliva Havili lifted after an off-field incident last week.

“Obviously they are a big part of our team and what we’re about,” he said.

“That will be sorted out in the near future.”

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