Jillaroos star Isabelle Kelly plans to use her stint with St George Illawarra at this month's NRL Nines to determine whether she wants to join the club on a permanent basis.
Kelly, who was the 2018 Golden Boot winner as the world's best female player, has switched from Sydney Roosters in a stunning coup for the Dragons.
While Kelly has only signed with St George Illawarra for the tournament in Perth on February 14 and 15, Dragons coach Daniel Lacey hopes to secure the services of the star centre on a longer term deal for this year's NRLW competition.
"I just wanted to try something new and I think the Nines is the perfect format to trial a club and see how I feel there," Kelly said.
"I think there are a few girls who are trying a new club for the Nines. If you love it, you stay there and so far I am really enjoying my time at the Dragons. I don't want to think too far ahead but at the moment it is going pretty well."
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Kelly insists she had been happy at the Roosters and enjoyed her time at the club during the first two seasons of the Holden NRL Women's Premiership.
However, Lacey had been trying to convince her to pull on a Red V jersey since the NRWL concept was first mooted and long-time NSW teammates Kezie Apps, Sam Bremner and Maddie Studdon helped sell the virtues of the Dragons to the recently married 23-year-old.
"I love the Roosters and I have no problem with the club or the players or any of the coaching staff," Kelly said. "It was more an opportunity to get outside my comfort zone and trying to find my love for footy again.
"The club, the coaches and the players at the Dragons have been very welcoming. It is a bit handy that I have played with a few of the girls before so it is not as daunting as starting into a new team.
"Kezie is a good mate so she sent me a few messages but no one pressured me or anything like that. It was completely my decision and she just let me know what the club was like."
Kelly is also looking forward to playing alongside Dragons superstar centre Jess Sergis, who won every available honour in 2019 after an outstanding season with St George Illawarra, NSW and Australia, including the Dally M and Golden Boot awards.
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The Dragons will have strike across the field at the Nines, with Bremner making her comeback after taking 12 months off for the birth of son Reef, alongside the likes of Kelly, Apps, Studdon, Botille Vette-Welsh, Shakiah Tungai and Brittany Breayley.
"I think the Nines is going to be a lot of fun getting out there and playing together again," Kelly said. "I only get to play with them in the representative jersey, they are an awesome bunch and they all love footy so it's a mix of serious and fun at the same time.
"Having Sam back is awesome, she has trained so hard and it is good to see that she is showing girls you can have a baby and come back to play."