Ryan Carr: What new St George Illawarra Dragons appointment means for ex-Featherstone coach

Drew Darbyshire
Ryan Carr St George Illawarra Dragons Alamy

Photo: AAP Image/Mark Evans

NRL club St George Illawarra Dragons have appointed Shane Flanagan as their new head coach on a three-year deal starting from next season.

Ryan Carr, former head coach of English Championship side Featherstone, will remain in charge of the Dragons for the rest of the season whilst Flanagan finishes his duties assisting Manly Sea Eagles in 2023.

Whilst the Dragons have confirmed Carr will remain with the club for the rest of 2023, they haven’t announced anything regarding plans beyond this season.

Carr, who coached Featherstone to the 2019 Championship Grand Final, is highly regarded in rugby league circles in both hemispheres.

The 34-year-old was assistant to Brad Arthur at Parramatta Eels last season as they reached the NRL Grand Final.

Carr was a junior at South Sydney Rabbitohs, but injury cut his playing career short before he turned 24.

Carr took on following the sacking of Anthony Griffin in May. He has been in charge for four games so far, winning two and losing two.

St George Illawarra Dragons appoint new head coach

Flanagan guided Cronulla Sharks to their first NRL Premiership with a 14-12 win over Melbourne Storm in 2016, before falling short against Super League champions Wigan in the World Club Challenge the following season.

He was assistant coach for Papua New Guinea at last year’s World Cup and has most recently been assistant to Anthony Seibold at Manly Sea Eagles.

On Flanagan’s appointment, Dragons chairman Andrew Lancaster said: “We have full faith in Shane’s abilities as a coach and are looking forward to welcoming him back to the club.

“Shane will add value in the role of head coach given the club’s deep, talented and emerging playing roster.

“Shane is well-regarded within the club from his recent roles here, first as an assistant coach then as list management consultant.

“The time he previously spent with the club also gives him a high level of familiarity with our players, systems and pathways.”

Flanagan added: “There is a fantastic opportunity at the Dragons to build something really special over the next few years.

“While the Sea Eagles will continue to have my full focus for the rest of this season, I also can’t wait to get started back at the Dragons at the end of this season and work on returning the club to the finals where it belongs.”

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