St George Illawarra have pulled off a signing masterstroke securing Souths No.9 Damien Cook on a new deal

Matt Shrivell
The Nightly
Damien Cook is set to leave the Dragons on a new two-year deal.
Damien Cook is set to leave the Dragons on a new two-year deal. Credit: Getty Images

Shane Flanagan and St George Illawarra have got their man after former State Of Origin hooker and Souths stalwart Damien Cook has reportedly inked a deal with the Dragons.

Rumours had been circulating that the Dragons were set to offer the 32-year-old a spot and on Wednesday it was confirmed that Cook will return to the club where he started his NRL journey on a two-year deal from 2025.

The deal involves a release from the final year of his Rabbitohs contract after Souths recently permitted the No.9 to negotiate with other clubs and leave if a deal was forthcoming.

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Cook, who hails from the South Coast of NSW, made his debut with the Dragons before a short stint at the Bulldogs and then onto the club that made his name in 2016.

The 32-year-old’s exit will allow Souths to strengthen their roster ahead of the impending return of Wayne Bennett with the path now clear for Peter Mamouzelos to become the Bunnies’ first-choice hooker.

Cook has played for Australia and has been a consistent pick in NSW State of Origin sides during his time with South Sydney.

While he is heading towards the back-end of his NRL career and was overlooked for the Blues this year, Cook’s impending move to the Dragons is nevertheless a coup for coach Flanagan.

The Red V have struggled to settle on a permanent first-choice hooker since Cameron McInnes missed the 2021 season through injury and then moved to join Cronulla.

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