live Infotainment Factory: Gus reveals clue to McGregor future

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Thursday, 5 September 2019

Gus reveals clue to McGregor future


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The Dragons have today confirmed that Phil Gould will play a role in conducting the club's much-anticipated season review after the story was broken by Wide World of Sports' The Mole.

It means the two-time premiership coach will likely be the key man in determining the future of under-pressure coach Paul McGregor and Gould has already given a hint about where he stands on the matter.

Gould spoke extensively about the Dragons in this week's Wide World of Sports Six Tackles with Gus podcast, revealing he's "not feeling any signs of McGregor not being supported going forward".

That comment should take significantly more weight when the latest news is considered. In agreeing to take a role in the end of season review, Gould has already had discussions with both McGregor and club CEO Brian Johnston and it's likely those discussions took place before Wednesday, which is when the podcast was recorded.

"I don't think they're about to make any changes," Gould said tellingly.

He went on to dissect the talking point that hijacked the Dragons' season before it even began, discussing how Jack de Belin's impending court case to hear charges of aggravated sexual assault had impacted the club.

While Gould questioned whether the former NSW forward's off-field issues should have caused such a significant plummet down the ladder, he left podcast listeners in no doubt that he felt it was a situation that made it extremely difficult for the club to meet expectations.

"Ever since it was confirmed that Jack de Belin would not be playing this year, that weekend they were flogged by 40-points," Gould said.

"Should it have affected them like that? Should it have ever been a situation where their season was depending on that? That's another argument.

"You'd have to be inside the organisation to answer that question. You've got to look within your roster and the character or the mentality of the club.

"Be it your coaches or your players or your leaders within the club, as to why, if that's the reason they've had the year they've had, and they've only won a couple of games since that time, why did it affect them like that? And what more could have been done?

"What did they learn from the experience? If ever they get a thunderbolt again early in the season whether they'll be able to rise above it.

"It's easy to say that they should have been able to deal with that but you're not there you don't really know what's happening at the time."

The Dragons were also a talking point on Wide World of Sports' Freddy & The Eighth, with Brad Fittler joining Gould in having sympathy for the club's plight due to the de Belin situation.

Fittler revealed the Dragons had worked hard on de belin's combination with hooker Cameron McInnes, arguing they had failed to come up with a Plan B after de Belin was stood down.

"There's no doubt they would have done a lot of work around Jack with the hooker last year in the pre-season," Fittler said.

"So I don't think they fixed that either when Jack wasn't allowed to play, nothing happened around the hooker

"I'd be playing a lot more around Cam McInnes. I think he's a great player. He's fast, got good hands..."

Johns added that the Dragons needed to find a way to rejuvenate their roster with a focus on finding a top class fullback, with uncertainty around the future of current No.1 Matt Dufty.

"It's a tough one there because once again I think all their salary cap is used up so I don't think they can go out in the market and buy anyone ," Johns said.

"I think the position they're lacking is fullback and they need to get more out of some players who they're paying huge money.

"But they need a total refresh in the club the way they play, maybe the way they train. They need to change things up maybe just to revitalise everything within the club."

The Dragons have today confirmed that Phil Gould will play a role in conducting the club's much-anticipated season review after the story was broken by Wide World of Sports' The Mole.

It means the two-time premiership coach will likely be the key man in determining the future of under-pressure coach Paul McGregor and Gould has already given a hint about where he stands on the matter.

Gould spoke extensively about the Dragons in this week's Wide World of Sports Six Tackles with Gus podcast, revealing he's "not feeling any signs of McGregor not being supported going forward".

That comment should take significantly more weight when the latest news is considered. In agreeing to take a role in the end of season review, Gould has already had discussions with both McGregor and club CEO Brian Johnston and it's likely those discussions took place before Wednesday, which is when the podcast was recorded.

"I don't think they're about to make any changes," Gould said tellingly.

He went on to dissect the talking point that hijacked the Dragons' season before it even began, discussing how Jack de Belin's impending court case to hear charges of aggravated sexual assault had impacted the club.

While Gould questioned whether the former NSW forward's off-field issues should have caused such a significant plummet down the ladder, he left podcast listeners in no doubt that he felt it was a situation that made it extremely difficult for the club to meet expectations.

"Ever since it was confirmed that Jack de Belin would not be playing this year, that weekend they were flogged by 40-points," Gould said.

"Should it have affected them like that? Should it have ever been a situation where their season was depending on that? That's another argument.

"You'd have to be inside the organisation to answer that question. You've got to look within your roster and the character or the mentality of the club.

"Be it your coaches or your players or your leaders within the club, as to why, if that's the reason they've had the year they've had, and they've only won a couple of games since that time, why did it affect them like that? And what more could have been done?

"What did they learn from the experience? If ever they get a thunderbolt again early in the season whether they'll be able to rise above it.

"It's easy to say that they should have been able to deal with that but you're not there you don't really know what's happening at the time."

The Dragons were also a talking point on Wide World of Sports' Freddy & The Eighth, with Brad Fittler joining Gould in having sympathy for the club's plight due to the de Belin situation.

Fittler revealed the Dragons had worked hard on de belin's combination with hooker Cameron McInnes, arguing they had failed to come up with a Plan B after de Belin was stood down.

"There's no doubt they would have done a lot of work around Jack with the hooker last year in the pre-season," Fittler said.

"So I don't think they fixed that either when Jack wasn't allowed to play, nothing happened around the hooker

"I'd be playing a lot more around Cam McInnes. I think he's a great player. He's fast, got good hands..."

Johns added that the Dragons needed to find a way to rejuvenate their roster with a focus on finding a top class fullback, with uncertainty around the future of current No.1 Matt Dufty.

"It's a tough one there because once again I think all their salary cap is used up so I don't think they can go out in the market and buy anyone ," Johns said.

"I think the position they're lacking is fullback and they need to get more out of some players who they're paying huge money.

"But they need a total refresh in the club the way they play, maybe the way they train. They need to change things up maybe just to revitalise everything within the club."

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