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Selfless Sailor happy to wing it for Dragons

Tristan Sailor makes no secret fullback is his preferred position but the versatile speedster's best pathway to a permanent starting spot looks set to be on the wing.

Sailor impressed at fullback on NRL debut this year but fellow rising star Zac Lomax is set to receive first crack at the Dragons No.1 jersey in 2020.

Having inked a new one-year deal last week, Sailor is keen to take on any role in St George Illawarra's star-studded back line to add to his three top-grade games.

"I have been a utility throughout my whole career, I guess, so I'll just work on each facet of every part of the back line and hopefully there's somewhere that I can slot in," Sailor said.

"Whether it's on the bench, wing, centre, fullback, halves, I don't mind. I'm super happy for Zac and if he claims that No.1 jersey it's well deserved."

The 21-year-old's best shot at earning a starting spot appears to be as a winger, where he finished the 2019 NRL campaign.

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St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor couldn't settle on his flank combination last season, with Mikaele Ravalawa, Jonus Pearson, Lomax, Jason Saab and Jordan Pereira all tried as well.

"I'm happy to play wing, it's such a good position these days. You get to finish tries and those backfield carries are so important," he said.

"I think I can bring the scoot with my game, compared to JP [Jordan Pereira] – he's just a big, solid runner, so it'll be good to mix it up a bit.

"I just keep learning in that position, especially defensively and our systems. Hopefully I can excel at that as well."

Sailor said the Dragons had only offered him a one-year contract but he was content to back his ability and secure his future down the line.

"[It's] just so I can work on my game, improve, and whatever happens, happens," he said.

"We were in negotiations for the whole period and I came into pre-season from the start. It's just good to have another year with heaps of the boys I've come through juniors with."

He made the call to re-sign without much advice from his legendary father Wendell Sailor, the former Broncos and Dragons winger.

"The fact I'm still living with him and Mum probably was the biggest factor in it," Sailor said.

"He didn't have too much of a say, he sort of let me make my own decision and just supported me through it.

"Coming through he always helped coach me but now he's just taken a full step back. Mum helps me with my decisions more probably and then my manager."

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After being a key part of the Dragons' Canterbury Cup team that won the minor premiership, Sailor now feels ready to handle the full-time NRL grind.

"I got used to the physicality of Canterbury Cup playing week in, week out, and that was just all I needed to take that extra step I think," he said.

"Coming into this pre-season I've had that experience, so I hopefully can take that to another level and become even more physical in my game."

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