June 22, 2024

Dragons recruit Luciano Leilua handed NRL breach notice over drink driving incident

Dragons recruit Luciano Leilua could miss the start of the NRL season after being handed a breach notice over a recent drink driving incident.

NRL 2024: Luciano Leilua given breach notice for drink-driving offence | Sky News Australia

The 27-year-old was found guilty of low-range drink driving, which saw him fined $3000 and suspended from driving for one month.

The incident took place prior to Leilua’s departure from the Cowboys, where it is alleged he failed to disclose the charge to his club or the NRL integrity unit.

St George Illawarra has acknowledged the breach notice, with Leilua now given five days to respond prior to his proposed sanction, which has not been publicly disclosed.

The back-rower officially returned to the Red V last week, inking a three-year deal with the club after being granted an early release from North Queensland.

According to a report from The Sydney Morning Herald, the NRL will impose a two-game ban on the Samoan international, ruling him out of clashes with the Titans and Dolphins.

Leilua is expected to be available for the Dragons’ clash with his former club the Cowboys in round three.



Inside Dragons’ bid to ditch one-man band tag as coach, stars plot 2024 attacking revolution

Everybody at St George Illawarra knows what needs to be done and now they’ve declared it’s time to do it.

The elephant in the Dragons dressing room last season was their attack, and lack thereof it, scoring just 474 points en route to a second-last finish.

The justified criticism was the attack had become too one-dimensional with the team always looking to captain and halfback Ben Hunt to come up with the play.

But if the Red V are going to compete for a finals berth in 2024 under new coach Shane Flanagan, the players know that must change.

To discover how the club plans on solving this problem, foxsports.com.au spoke to the coach and four of the club’s most important attacking players – halves Hunt and Kyle Flanagan, and outside backs Tyrell Sloan and Zac Lomax.

Hunt kicked things off by emphasising the entire club had to take responsibility for scoring more points this season.

“It’s on everyone, it’s not just two or three guys,” Hunt said

“It’s right from the coaches down and the structures we play and how we execute it.

“Your forwards have got to be running the right lines, they’ve got to make good decisions with the ball and then so does your hooker.

“This pre-season we’ve put a lot of trust in players to make those (correct) decisions and really just play some footy, so hopefully we can balance it out.”

Dragons skipper Ben Hunt needs help in attack. Getty Images

Five-eighth Flanagan was pleased with the Dragons’ opening 40 minutes against the Rabbitohs in the Charity Shield last weekend, but conceded there was still plenty to work on.

The 25-year-old joined the club from the Bulldogs this summer to play under his father, but it’s Maroons and Kangaroos star Hunt who he’s been learning the most off.

“Just watching him at training and how he demands the ball, how he runs the balls, watching him go to work is what I’ve learnt the most. I’m looking to build that combination,” Flanagan Jr said.

“The weekend was a good start in the first 40 minutes to show what the Dragons are gonna be in 2024 and the style of footy we want to play is hardworking and fighting to the death.

“We want to be known as that kind of team… but I also think we’ll build our belief that we can unlock talent in our footy team and as the season goes on we’ll evolve as a footy team and work out what our strengths are.

“There’s plenty to improve on but I’m feeling good going into Round 1.”

Coach Flanagan agreed the Dragons’ attack was too predictable in 2023 and backed his son to help change things by freeing up Hunt.

“Last year Ben Hunt was, especially in attack, the centrepiece of it all,” Flanagan Sr said.

“I’d like to think Kyle can get the ball to Jaydn Su’A and Moses Suli and our strike players on the edges. We need to get them more football and that will be Kyle’s main job description.

“Then Ben can flip from both sides of the field and play what he sees a little bit more, but Kyle will get the balls to our strike players and that will be his job.

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