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'I'd love to stay a Dragon': Su'A denies Bennett links

Scott Bailey -

Off-contract St George Illawarra second-rower Jaydn Su'A insists his main priority is to remain a Dragon, with the Queenslander not holding out to see where Wayne Bennett lands.

Su'A is one of a host of Dragons off contract at the end of this year, and able to be approached by rival clubs since the start of last November.

The former Queensland State of Origin forward has been linked to a move away from the Red V during his three-year deal, but insists he wants to stay under new coach Shane Flanagan.

Negotiations are ongoing between the player's management and the club.

"I'd love to stay because I love the club. It's been a pretty tough two-and-a-bit years and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel," Su'A told AAP.

"It's a week-by-week thing. I played s**t the other week (against the Dolphins), so it was bad timing.

"It's just important to be winning games and turning up.

"The club won't lose the player that they want to keep. If I'm that player, then I'm sure I'll be here."

Su'A is confident he will return from a quad strain in time to face Manly in Wollongong on Saturday.

But contract-wise, Bennett could potentially be the joker in the pack for Su'A.

The player had his debut at Brisbane under Bennett in 2016, and Su'A followed the coach to South Sydney midway through 2019.

An Origin debut followed under Bennett in 2020, and the back-rower left the Rabbitohs at the end of 2021 - once the coach was without a club.

The pair remain close, with the 26-year-old leaning on Bennett for advice and the veteran coach last year confirming his interest in linking back up with Su'A.

Bennett will leave the Dolphins after this year but remains hopeful of continuing to coach.

He is sure to be linked to a Rabbitohs return if Jason Demetriou can't turn around the last-placed Bunnies.

But while Su'A knows the lure of Bennett, the Samoa international said he was not holding out to see if his old coach would be in charge of another NRL club next year.

"I've got the ultimate respect for him. He gave me my club debut, my Origin debut," Su'A said.

"I was struggling in Brisbane when he left and he told me to come down and said he would turn me into the player he knew I could be.

"Two years later I was playing in a grand finals, I was playing in Origin. I have a lot of respect for him and I trust him.

"But no one knows what he's going to be doing and I'm definitely not holding my eggs in that basket."

Scott Bailey - AAP

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