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Widdop looking likely for Dragons return

NZN 31/05/2017 Scott Bailey

Gareth Widdop is set to make his NRL return for St George Illawarra against the Wests Tigers on Saturday.

Widdop was named on an extended bench for the Dragons on Tuesday, but it's understood the club's skipper needs only to get through training to return from a knee injury.

He trained through a full contact session in Wollongong on Wednesday, while replacement half Kurt Mann was sent back to the wing in the best sign yet that Widdop will play.

"He got hit a couple of times out there today where you cringed," back-rower Tariq Sims said.

"But he came out of that really well and trained really sharp. He will be a great asset to have back in the position."

Widdop hasn't played for the Dragons since he injured his knee on Anzac Day against the Roosters.

The Saints were leading that match at the time, but went on to lose and then dropped two of their next three to fall from the top of the ladder to third.

The Dragons will also welcome Josh Dugan back from a jaw injury, assuming he emerges from NSW Origin camp unscathed.

Meanwhile Sims said the Dragons forward pack won't change their winning formula to put an extra emphasis on targeting new Tigers five-eighth Tuimoala Lolohea in the ANZ Stadium clash.

Lolohea joined the club on Monday from the Warriors.

"Some teams might (go out of their way to target him) but we've got our plan and how we want to play," Sims said.

"He's only played a handful of games but you look at his highlight reel, you can see what he's done for the Warriors is outstanding."

Sims said he also expected to return to the bench for the Dragons once Tyson Frizell returned from the NSW Origin camp, despite named at No.11 on Tuesday.

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