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Coach McGregor to survive Dragons' axe

NZN 28/09/2016 Steve Zemek

St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor has survived the axe in the wake of the side's underwhelming NRL performance this year.

McGregor looks set to see out the final year of his contract in 2017 following a review of the club's performance and the appointment of a committee to oversee the football department.

In a public letter to fans, the club said they accepted criticism for their 11th-placed finish this season.

The club have appointed a four-person rugby league performance committee, consisting of former skipper Mark Coyne, sports scientist Dr Craig Duncan, and coaching and performance specialists Clare Prideaux and Dirk Melton, to address deficiencies in the Dragons' performance.

McGregor had been under pressure after an underwhelming season, however he appears to have kept his job with the club acknowledging a number of factors that had led to the side missing the finals.

The club's statement also praised McGregor as having a "positive future as an NRL coach and is the Dragons' head coach in 2017".

"Our results in 2016 were not acceptable and no one within the club is happy or comfortable with our results and inconsistent performances this year," McGregor said.

"All systems within the football department and aspects of the 2016 program have been reviewed, areas for improvement have been identified, and I'm encouraged about the prospect of input and support from the rugby league performance committee."

The side's lacklustre performance cost veteran playmaker Benji Marshall and hooker Mitch Rein their positions.

McGregor said the club's 2017 roster had not been finalised and promised changes to key positions.

The Dragons have been linked to trouble-prone playmaker Todd Carney, recently released by Super League club Catalans, and Canberra prop Paul Vaughan.

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