22nd July 2024

NRL legend Matt Cooper is in discussions with newly-appointed Dragons coach Shane Flanagan to affix the staff in a proper teaching capability, Vast World of Sports activities can reveal.

The 44-year-old, who will struggle as a part of Stan’s unique pay-per-view ‘Battle on the Reef’ bout, has confirmed a reunion with the membership is on the playing cards forward of the 2024 season.

Cooper, a Dragons lifer who performed practically 250 first-grade matches within the Crimson V, has been an outcast on the membership after a falling out within the twilight of his league profession.

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His points with the membership stemmed from its then-CEO Peter Doust who provided him a job that by no means eventuated. 

Cooper snubbed a 10-year premiership reunion to keep away from additional friction, which sarcastically led to extra criticism directed on the NRL veteran.

Matt Cooper, pictured in 2010, gained the NRL Premiership with the St George Illawara Dragons. (Getty)

Now, contemporary dialogue between Cooper and Flanagan may see the pair unite in a bid to make the Dragons a high eight staff once more.

“I am having conversations with Flanno about perhaps serving to out subsequent yr, which might be nice as a result of I believe will help the skin backs, particularly in defence,” Cooper instructed Vast World of Sports activities.

Watch all of the motion from ‘Battle on the Reef’ on October 7. Accessible to look at by way of pay-per-view reside and solely on Stan

“That was my specialty. They used to name me the most effective defensive centre within the sport and I believe I can actually assist the blokes out, so hopefully I am concerned subsequent yr.”

Cooper mentioned an actual identify for the function hasn’t been selected but however an appointment would “most likely occur within the subsequent two months”.

Shane Flanagan was promoted from assistant to move coach of the Dragons in 2023. (Ian Hitchcock by way of Getty Pictures)

In any case, the previous consultant star is able to bury the hatchet and assist lead the membership again in direction of being an NRL powerhouse once more.

“After I retired from the Dragons, I left the membership on unhealthy phrases. It was only one particular person and I like the membership that a lot the place I am prepared to place that apart and attempt to assist the membership – so hopefully I could be there in some formal capability,” mentioned Cooper.

“I like the membership a lot that what occurred just isn’t value being bitter and being an outsider of the membership as a result of I wish to be concerned within the membership as a result of I like it a lot. 

“The membership was part of my life – 18 years. I’d like to put issues apart and assist out the gamers.”

This season has been disappointing for the Dragons, who languish in 16th place on the ladder with two rounds remaining.

With 5 wins from 22 video games, it is a grim actuality for a staff that final gained the competitors in 2010.

Stream the NRL premiership 2023 reside and free on 9Now

Hunt more likely to stay at Dragons

The membership’s main strive scorer mentioned the staff has the potential to be a contender once more underneath Flanagan.

“It has been disappointing. The staff’s performed a number of good video games. The disruption with coach and simply every little thing behind the scenes hasn’t helped,” mentioned Cooper.

“I believe now that we have got Flanno because the coach, I believe he will do wonders for the staff and I believe subsequent yr lots of people are going to be stunned how nicely the Dragons are going to be subsequent yr.

“They have the gamers to do it. They simply want the coach to bond that staff and I believe Flanno is the person to try this. 

“He is gained a grand closing with the Sharks. He is aware of what he is doing and I am excited to see how they go subsequent yr as a result of I like the membership. I performed at that membership my entire profession. I gave every little thing for that, for that membership. 

“I would like the Dragons to be at their finest as a result of once I was taking part in on the Dragons, we have been most likely one of the crucial feared sides, I would like that again for the Dragons, I would like that again for the membership and I believe we’re gonna do it.”

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