Dragons' Zac Lomax to make NRL call soon
They've already promised him first crack at the crucial fullback spot next year, but St George Illawarra might soon find out if Zac Lomax is the long-term answer.
Having entered the final year of his Dragons contract, Lomax is weighing up his NRL future after meeting a number of rival clubs in recent weeks.
The 20-year-old is believed to have already toured Newcastle's facilities and has also been linked heavily with a possible move to Canberra.
But the Wests Tigers have emerged as a genuine suitor, with the merger-club having the added carrot of being able to offer Lomax the No.1 jumper.
It is understood Lomax might make a decision as soon as next week.
"We have spoken to some other clubs and it's been good to understand how other clubs roll, (see) some of the facilities," Lomax told AAP.
"But I'm letting my manager do his work. There's a process in place.
"At the moment, I'm worrying about my teammates right now and being the best teammate I can and competing the best that I can at every training session."
In a sign of how desperate the Dragons are to keep Lomax, coach Paul McGregor has guaranteed the promising talent first shot at fullback in 2020.
It is a position the Temora product has wanted since making his debut two years ago in the centres, where he has played most of his 17 games so far.
"It's good that (McGregor has) got confidence in me. Hopefully, the playing group's got confidence in me as well," Lomax said.
"I'll make sure that I try and get that from them by just showing them that I can work hard and put in the effort on the training paddock so I get that respect."
Lomax has set himself the task of emulating the breakout seasons of fellow youngsters Ryan Papenhuyzen and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.
Lomax was Papenhuyzen's teammate in the Junior Kangaroos' win over France.
"What Paps does really well is that he works off the ball, probably more than a lot of fullbacks in the game. His workrate's through the roof," Lomax said.
"I think if you can bring a good workrate to the team and you bring effort and you compete on each play, I think that can go a long way as a fullback.
"You look at someone like Nicoll-Klokstad, he's fresh to the NRL but you look at what he brought to his team week in, week out. He competed on everything.
"And he was probably one of the game's best this year. You look at someone like that, and it's something I'm trying to bring to my game, competing consistently."
© AAP 2019