Larger than life St George Illawarra recruit George Rose has revealed he was ready to throw in the towel on his NRL career following his disappointing 2014 season with the Melbourne Storm.
In fact, if not for an invitation to tour the Dragons facilities a couple of weeks ago, the 31-year-old was ready to conclude his NRL career which has produced over 140 games across 11 seasons.
"Originally I wasn't planning on having a run [in the NRL] next year. I was just happy to finish the season off and get back to Sydney," Rose told NRL.com.
"I was stewing there for a while whether I was going to play or not. I had plenty going off the field too, so there were some good opportunities there.
"But when the Dragons asked me if I wanted to have a look at the facilities here and talk to the staff it really sparked an interest in me.
"They said they were looking for size and I have plenty of it so that made it an easy decision for me... and as a result I was training a week later."
A self-confessed Dragons fan growing up in Walgett until the 1999 Grand Final ‘broke his heart’, Rose discussed his keenness to recapture his form of years past which produced premiership victories with the Sea Eagles as well as gaining Indigenous All Stars and PM XIII berths.
After a largely forgettable year with the Storm, Rose just never felt comfortable living in Melbourne.
Rose’s arrival at the Dragons has now allowed him to be closer to his family and support network, something he struggled without while he was away from Sydney.
"[Melbourne's] a great club and I definitely learnt a hell of a lot while I was down there but to be back in Sydney it's a lot more suited to how I've done things in the past and to have [my family] around me is going to better my footy," Rose said.
"Last year was certainly a disappointing season for me on the field. I underperformed. Next season I want to play a lot more like I have in the past and have a really strong year."
Rose's doubts over whether the NRL was still for him were quickly raised again when he was thrown into a beep test on his very first day of training at the Dragons.
Under the pretence he was going to Wollongong for 'an orientation' Rose admitted the initial beep test hurt.
"I don't often enjoy pre-season but it has been fun so far," Rose said. "The fact we have a beach straight out the back of training oval helps but it's also a great setting here and a good group of players and staff so there is a nice vibe here."