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Dragons rule out NRL move for Sandow

AAP logoAAP 21/11/2016 Matt Encarnacion and Warren Barnsley

St George Illawarra have ruled out making a play for NRL free agent Chris Sandow after the halfback walked out on Super League side Warrington.

Sandow was branded sometimes "unreliable" and "a pain" by Warrington chief executive Tony Smith after he informed the Wolves he wouldn't be returning to England.

The former Parramatta playmaker was immediately linked with the Dragons, who have rookie Drew Hutchison and veteran Josh McCrone as No.7 options next season.

But St George Illawarra recruitment boss Ian Millward put a line through that idea on Tuesday.

"(Our recruitment) keeps getting linked with the halfback position and the latest one is Chris Sandow. I can say Chris Sandow won't be with our club in 2017 and onwards," he said.

"Look, we're in a position in the halfback spot where we feel that what we've got is the best people available and we're really happy with them."

Millward's comments come after Sandow's reputation took a hammering from the Wolves, with Smith saying he was neither surprised nor disappointed his halfback had walked out.

Sandow was expected to turn up for day one of pre-season on Monday, however he is understood to be in Australia preparing for a boxing match against Todd Carney in December.

"To leave it to the last minute before pre-season training started is pretty ordinary," Smith told Total Rugby League.

"Surprised? No. Disappointed? No."

His exit from the club, and possibly the Super League, prompts speculation of an NRL return, but Smith's spray could dent any hopes Sandow might hold.

"He was okay for most of it and at sometimes he was a pain in the proverbial, Smith said.

"He brightened us up at different stages and was exciting to watch for a while but he became a bit unreliable.

"We saw glimpses of what he is capable of after that. I don't think he was as near as comprehensive as he was in the first half of the season.

"I can honestly say because of what he overall contributed to our squad and our team, I'm not too bothered."

Karl Fitzpatrick, Warrington's head of operations who is due to take over as chief executive in January, described the no-show as "a clear breach of contract".

Sandow made a tremendous start to the 2016 Super League season, winning player of the month in February and March but was hampered by injuries thereafter.

The 27-year-old helped the Wolves into the Challenge Cup final and Super League grand final this year, both of which they lost.

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