Roosters give Ryles green light to discuss Dragons role

·3-min read
Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS

Jason Ryles has moved a step closer to assuming the vacant St George Illawarra NRL coaching role after Trent Robinson gave his assistant his blessing to pursue the job. 

Currently Robinson's No.2 at the Sydney Roosters, Ryles has been the touted as the game's next head coach in waiting over recent months.

He was considered a strong chance to succeed Craig Bellamy at Melbourne, but the veteran Storm master recently opted to coach on in 2024. 

That has given the Dragons a shot at luring Ryles to the club after sacking Anthony Griffin earlier this week.

"If an assistant wants to go for a job, they can go for a job, that's really clear and we're supporting Rylesy in doing that," Robinson said.

"He's decided he wants to go and pursue that and the club supports him in that."

Ryan Carr - Griffin's well-credentialed assistant - has been named as the Dragons' interim coach for the rest of the season.

His first game in charge is coincidentally against the Roosters coaching team of Robinson and Ryles on Friday.

Ryles' camp are believed to be searching for a long-term contract that would allow the rookie head coach to shape the club as he sees fit.

The Roosters, Robinson said, would seek a compensation fee for his services given Ryles would not be honouring the final year of his three-season contract.

Ryles arrived at Bondi in 2021 following spells with the Storm and the English rugby union team.

The Roosters were irked when Adam O'Brien left to join Newcastle in 2020 soon after being given a gig at the club.

"That was the contract (with Ryles)," Robinson said.

"We've had discussions around that and if he's going to go and what that looks like.

"He can go through the process and we support him in going for the job.

"He's ready and it's time for him to go and look at that but that's (for) after this week."

Carr's first point of order has been to recall Zac Lomax and Jacob Liddle to the Dragons team but the interim coach would not take sole credit for the selection call.

"Team selection gets spoken about well before what happens on Tuesday (Griffin's sacking)," he said.

"Those two boys have done a really good job and had a great attitude in going back to (NSW) Cup. They played really well on the weekend.

"We'd been planning to bring them back in this week regardless. It's not a backflip on anything."

Captain Ben Hunt will assume full-time halfback duties against the Roosters after sharing the role with young gun Jayden Sullivan over the past fortnight and playing portions of games at hooker.

"He's going to play halfback this week for us because that's what he was signed to play here at the club, but what the future holds I don't know," Carr said.

Hunt, 33, was famously loyal to Griffin and previously intimated he would prefer not to learn from another coach at this late stage in his career.

But Carr did not foresee challenges keeping him at the Dragons through to the end of his contract in 2025.

"I've got a really good relationship with Ben," he said.

"He's a hundred per cent committed to the Dragons."