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Frizell hopes to ink new Dragons deal before season kick-off

Kangaroos forward Tyson Frizell hopes to finalise his future with St George Illawarra before the start of the season.

Frizell, who is in the final year of his contract with the Dragons, said he wanted to continue playing for his junior club and confirmed negotiations were underway for a new deal.

"I have been in negotiations and hopefully I can have that sorted out sometime soon," Frizell said. "I am able to talk to other clubs at the moment but hopefully it is here. 

"I'd like to do it before the season starts but these things do take time as well so I understand that from the club's point of view. The sooner I can get it out of the way the better it is for myself and for the club as well."

The 28-year-old second-rower said he was fully fit after a horror run with injuries in 2019, which began when Frizell suffered a ruptured testicle during the opening-round match in Townsville, and he has put his hand up to play in the NRL Nines at Perth's Optus Stadium.

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The Dragons have been training hard under the direction of new strength and conditioning coach Adrian Jimenez, and players welcomed the opportunity to get away from WIN Stadium for two days on the club's South Coast bushfire relief tour.

With former NSW Origin forward Trent Merrin returning and Issac Luke, Brayden Williame and Tyrell Fuimaono joining the club, the Dragons have greater depth but are still on the lookout for an experienced winger.

"It is good to have Mez back, we all know that he loves the club and he is a big part of the club," Frizell said of Merrin.

"He is looking forward to putting the jersey on again, and getting back to playing the footy he knows he can play.

"Issac, Bradyen and Tyrell are quality players so it is good to have those guys in the squad. They will all be pushing for a spot in the top 17.

"There's still a couple of weeks of pre-season left but we are doing everything right at this point in time and training really hard. There has been a bit of change with the way training has been going and we are all looking forward to some games

"I want to play at the Nines, it's something different and it will be enjoyable to go to Perth. That is our first game of the year so I am looking forward to that."

Frizell said the visit to the South Coast had been an "eye-opener" for the players and they had hoped to provide a distraction from the constant threat of bushfires for people in the region, as well as provide an economic stimulus.

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"The whole way down the coast it was just black and you can't understand how tough it would have been for the people trying to defend their houses," Frizell said.

"I don't know how they did it, the amount of courage it would have taken to stay back and look after their houses. Obviously the fire fighters had to go through that too and it is pretty amazing to see some of the houses that are still standing with black trees around them.

"I guess in Sydney you get the smell of bushfires but you are not at risk so it's not until you drive through that road [the Princes Highway] on the way down and see the devastation that you realise what some people have gone through.

"I think it would be very traumatic for any family to go through it and you don't know when it is going to happen so we a we are trying to be that distraction that they need and take their minds off the tough times they have gone through."