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3 hours ago | Tim Costello
St George Illawarra have officially announced that Paul McGregor will remain coach of the Dragons for a further two seasons following the completion of all necessary documentation.
McGregor's new contract will see him remain at the Dragons at least until the end of the 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership season.
The 51-year-old's new contract will see him become St George Illawarra's longest-serving coach in the joint venture's history.
"To have a good focus and purpose for the next two seasons is really comforting. To my extended family, in the players and staff, I feel very fortunate to be able to continue working with such quality people," McGregor said.
"The enjoyment I get out of coaching this proud club is something I look forward to every day.
"There is still a real appreciation of what 2019 is to bring too. My players are always my first priority and their needs come before anything else.
"There have been positive signs already. Team cohesion is strong and performance is spirited. We've had our challenges with the draw's scheduling but our game is growing and we keep improving which is the important part."
Dragons chief executive Brian Johnston said the decision to re-sign McGregor was one made on the basis of several factors.
"Paul's retention has come down to more than just the football played on the field," Johnston said. "Paul is a values-driven, team-first individual who is at the forefront of personal development for both he and his players.
"A testament of this is the number of Dragons who have achieved higher representative honours and those to have successfully debuted under Paul's tutelage, as well as the club's improved results in recent seasons.
"Paul's emotional intelligence and man management attributes are key to him being well-respected throughout the playing group and the club's staff in its entirety, which is another crucial reason for his extension."
Dragons chairman Andrew Gordon said the board were pleased to see McGregor recommit to the Red V.
"Paul's history to date has shown he is capable of taking the Dragons to the finals and we're very happy with the way he's kicked off our season so far; we look forward to the remainder of the year now that his position has been locked in," Gordon said.
"Paul has indeed had a long history with the club as both a player and now as coach. His values positively represent ours as a club. The board and I are very proud to have him continue as Dragons coach."
The former Country Origin, New South Wales Origin and Kangaroos player began his coaching career in the Illawarra and progressed through the Canterbury Cup NSW to the NRL.
McGregor has coached 118 NRL games to date after first taking on the head coach role midway through the 2014 season.
McGregor has also previously been on the staff of the Country Origin (2009-2012) and New South Wales Origin team (2006-13) teams as well as the inaugural co-captain of St George Illawarra in 1999.