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One to watch: Jason Saab

getsmarty

Referee
Messages
28,764
saabj-1gp_1396.jpg


NRL NEWS


Teen sensation Saab to debut in revamped backline
Author
Brad Walter & Dan Walsh
Timestamp
Tue 23 Jul 2019, 06:05 PM

Teenage winger Jason Saab is set to make a dramatic transition from SG Ball to first grade within a year after being named as one of four new faces in the St George Illawarra team for Friday night’s match against South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

Saab, who represented NSW Under 18s and Australian schoolboys last year, will join Gareth Widdop, Ben Hunt and Zac Lomax as changes to the Dragons side beaten 40-14 by Penrith last Friday night.

Widdop, the St George Illawarra captain, returns from a shoulder reconstruction at five-eighth and will partner Hunt in the halves, with Corey Norman shifting to fullback in place of Matt Dufty as part of a new look back three for St George Illawarra.

Dufty has been selected on the bench, while Lomax and Saab replace wingers Mikaele Ravalawa and Jonus Pearson. Interchange forward Patrick Kaufusi also drops out of the 17-man squad but was named on an extended bench.

So highly regarded is 18-year-old Saab that he has already been signed by the Dragons until the end of the 2022 season after a stunning rise through the ranks from SG Ball to the club’s NRL development player squad in the past 12 months.



Is a Belmore return on the cards for Josh Reynolds?

The 195cm tall winger was due to be promoted to St George Illawarra’s top 30 in 2021 but his NRL debut has now been fast-tracked as Dragons coach Paul McGregor seeks to revive the team’s flagging finals hopes alive.

St George Illawarra's opponents South Sydney have named the same 17 that downed North Queensland last weekend with Tom and Sam Burgess on their extended reserves list.

Tom got through training on Tuesday and shapes as the more likely inclusion for Friday's game, with Sam still recovering from an infection detected during recent shoulder surgery that is expected to keep him sidelined for another week.

While St George Illawarra's season goes on the line, fellow struggling heavyweights Cronulla will be without Matt Moylan for their clash with North Queensland due to ongoing hamstring issues.

NRL.com understands that club medical staff fear any further damage to Moylan's troubling hamstring would be significant, to the tune of another month or two on the sidelines.

As such the former NSW Origin star will be kept on ice, despite the Sharks being desperate to snap a five game losing streak.

Moylan will be joined on the sidelines by prop Andrew Fifita (suspension) as Josh Dugan reverts to fullback, while second-rower Wade Graham is another week away in his recovery from a hamstring tear.



Burgess eager to get back

No such fears exist for Brisbane's Matt Gillett, who returns from a groin injury against the Gold Coast, who will debut mid-season English recruit Kallum Watkins at centre.

Tyrone Peachey also returns from a pectoral injury via the bench.

Melbourne will have their full Origin contingent on deck against the Sea Eagles after Josh Addo-Carr, Will Chambers, Cameron Munster, Felise Kaufusi and Christian Welch were all rested last week.

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has also swung the axe after Sunday's sub-par defence at Brookvale, with Shaun Lane (finger) out and Waqa Blake coming in for his first game since moving from Penrith at the expense of rookie winger Ethan Parry.

Blake Ferguson remains sidelined with a leg infection as opponents the Warriors welcome back Ken Maumalo from concussion and sweat the fitness of Kodi Nikorima (ankle), who failed to train on Tuesday.

Rabbitohs v Dragons
What will be the result of their round 19 clash?

Rabbitohs v Dragons What will be the result of their round 19 clash?
  • Souths 1-10
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  • Souths 11+
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  • Dragons 1-10
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  • Dragons 11+
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https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2019/07/24/teen-sensation-saab-to-debut-in-revamped-backline/
 

possm

Coach
Messages
13,900
saabj-1gp_1396.jpg


NRL NEWS


Teen sensation Saab to debut in revamped backline
Author
Brad Walter & Dan Walsh
Timestamp
Tue 23 Jul 2019, 06:05 PM

Teenage winger Jason Saab is set to make a dramatic transition from SG Ball to first grade within a year after being named as one of four new faces in the St George Illawarra team for Friday night’s match against South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

Saab, who represented NSW Under 18s and Australian schoolboys last year, will join Gareth Widdop, Ben Hunt and Zac Lomax as changes to the Dragons side beaten 40-14 by Penrith last Friday night.

Widdop, the St George Illawarra captain, returns from a shoulder reconstruction at five-eighth and will partner Hunt in the halves, with Corey Norman shifting to fullback in place of Matt Dufty as part of a new look back three for St George Illawarra.

Dufty has been selected on the bench, while Lomax and Saab replace wingers Mikaele Ravalawa and Jonus Pearson. Interchange forward Patrick Kaufusi also drops out of the 17-man squad but was named on an extended bench.

So highly regarded is 18-year-old Saab that he has already been signed by the Dragons until the end of the 2022 season after a stunning rise through the ranks from SG Ball to the club’s NRL development player squad in the past 12 months.



Is a Belmore return on the cards for Josh Reynolds?

The 195cm tall winger was due to be promoted to St George Illawarra’s top 30 in 2021 but his NRL debut has now been fast-tracked as Dragons coach Paul McGregor seeks to revive the team’s flagging finals hopes alive.

St George Illawarra's opponents South Sydney have named the same 17 that downed North Queensland last weekend with Tom and Sam Burgess on their extended reserves list.

Tom got through training on Tuesday and shapes as the more likely inclusion for Friday's game, with Sam still recovering from an infection detected during recent shoulder surgery that is expected to keep him sidelined for another week.

While St George Illawarra's season goes on the line, fellow struggling heavyweights Cronulla will be without Matt Moylan for their clash with North Queensland due to ongoing hamstring issues.

NRL.com understands that club medical staff fear any further damage to Moylan's troubling hamstring would be significant, to the tune of another month or two on the sidelines.

As such the former NSW Origin star will be kept on ice, despite the Sharks being desperate to snap a five game losing streak.

Moylan will be joined on the sidelines by prop Andrew Fifita (suspension) as Josh Dugan reverts to fullback, while second-rower Wade Graham is another week away in his recovery from a hamstring tear.



Burgess eager to get back

No such fears exist for Brisbane's Matt Gillett, who returns from a groin injury against the Gold Coast, who will debut mid-season English recruit Kallum Watkins at centre.

Tyrone Peachey also returns from a pectoral injury via the bench.

Melbourne will have their full Origin contingent on deck against the Sea Eagles after Josh Addo-Carr, Will Chambers, Cameron Munster, Felise Kaufusi and Christian Welch were all rested last week.

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has also swung the axe after Sunday's sub-par defence at Brookvale, with Shaun Lane (finger) out and Waqa Blake coming in for his first game since moving from Penrith at the expense of rookie winger Ethan Parry.

Blake Ferguson remains sidelined with a leg infection as opponents the Warriors welcome back Ken Maumalo from concussion and sweat the fitness of Kodi Nikorima (ankle), who failed to train on Tuesday.

Rabbitohs v Dragons
What will be the result of their round 19 clash?

Rabbitohs v Dragons What will be the result of their round 19 clash?
  • Souths 1-10
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  • Souths 11+
    0%
  • Dragons 1-10
    0%
  • Dragons 11+
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https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2019/07/24/teen-sensation-saab-to-debut-in-revamped-backline/
So Saab finaly gets to show his stuff in first grade on Friday night. I hope nerves don't get the better of him and so would love for him to have a blinder.
 

getsmarty

Referee
Messages
28,764
saabj-1gp_0137.jpg



DRAGONS


How Saab's emergence enable Dragons to snare Norman
Author
Brad Walter NRL.com Senior Reporter
Timestamp
Fri 26 Jul 2019, 08:00 AM
walterbrad-head.png

Jason Saab grew up playing in a cardinal and myrtle South Sydney-style jersey and his father is a member of The Burrow but the 18-year-old winger hopes Friday night’s debut against the Rabbitohs will be the beginning of a long career with St George Illawarra.

Saab, who played juniors for Merrylands Rams, is considered a future star and Dragons coach Paul McGregor has been waiting patiently all season for him to finally become available for NRL selection this week.

So highly regarded is Saab at St George Illawarra that the club declined the opportunity to sign an established winger at the end of last season in the knowledge that he was coming through the ranks.

The decision enabled the Dragons to bring Corey Norman to the club a season earlier after securing him to replace Gareth Widdop and he is set to play alongside the 195cm Saab for years to come as the rookie winger has been signed until 2022.

St George Illawarra director of rugby league pathways Ian Millward said the club hoped Saab would follow in the footsteps of Jason Nightingale and enjoy a lengthy career with the Dragons.



Rabbitohs v Dragons - Round 19

“We’ve never signed anyone as young on such a long contract but for us it was a no-brainer,” Millward said. “Speed-wise he is really good, he jumps excellently in the air, he is low maintenance off the field and he comes from a good family.

“We knew the club would be looking for taller, bigger wingers so we decided to put him on a four-year contract.”

Halfback Ben Hunt, second-rower Tariq Sims, prop Blake Lawrie and 17-year-old SG Ball playmaker Jayden Sullivan are currently the only other players committed to the club for as long, while prop Paul Vaughan has an option for the 2022 season.

Remarkably, no other club had shown interest in Saab until he was selected for NSW Under 18s last season and he had never been identified by Parramatta for a junior representative team.

Saab came to St George as a 16-year-old and what triggered the interest of Dragons officials wasn’t his performances in games but the results of testing for his acceleration, leap and strength.

“He was right up there with some of the really good players who have come through our ranks,” Millward said. “Then, in his second year of Under 18s, he just got better and better.”

The Eels and other clubs became interested just as St George Illawarra were preparing a deal for Saab but he told officials he didn’t want to play anywhere else.



Why McGregor changed his back three

“He said, ‘The Dragons gave me an opportunity so I want to stay here’,” Millward said. “His dad is a mad Rabbitohs fan. He has come to some meetings with me with his Rabbitohs jumper on and he sits in The Burrow with his mates so it is quite ironic Jason’s first game is against Souths.”

The Dragons decision to sign Saab on a long-term contract was vindicated when he starred at last year’s Australian Secondary Schools championships on the Gold Coast, along with Cronulla centre Bronson Xerri, and was chosen for an end-of-season tour to England.

saab-kiddie.jpg

Jason Saab tasting success as a junior with Merrylands Rams.
After commencing pre-season training in January, the Dragons agreed Saab should start in Under 20s for six weeks before advancing to the Mathew Head-coached Canterbury Cup team.

As one of six development players, Saab could not play NRL before June 30 and McGregor waited until after his commitments with the NSW under 20s team to select him.

“We are having an early look at an exciting talent for the future,” McGregor said. “He has been putting pressure on the players consistently throughout the year in reserve grade with some really good performances but we weren’t allowed to use him earlier.

“He was just playing too well to leave out and we want to give him a taste of first grade now. He can get nice and high, when he gets into open space he is quite quick and defensively he has a good understanding of what he needs to do.”

Meanwhile, Mikaele Ravalawa, injured winger Jordan Pereira and forward Lachlan Timms joined NSW Women’s captain Kezie Apps for a surprise appearance at training for players in the “Score Dragons” community program to announce they had received a St George Bank funding grant.

Now in its sixth season, the “Score Dragons” is a joint initiative between St George Illawarra and The Disability Trust to include players with disabilities in a local Illawarra competition and earned the club the 2015 NRL Community program of the year award.

Rabbitohs v Dragons
What will be the result of their round 19 clash?

Rabbitohs v Dragons What will be the result of their round 19 clash?
  • Souths 1-10
    0%
  • Souths 11+
    0%
  • Dragons 1-10
    0%
  • Dragons 11+
    0%


https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2019/07/26/how-saabs-emergence-enable-dragons-to-snare-norman/
 

41yearsaint

Juniors
Messages
531
Straight into the fire, will be interesting to see how he goes. At least Mary didn't partner him with the love child. Has a chance to gain some confidence in 1st grade.
 
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