You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Dragons five-eighth Corey Norman.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor says he's unaware of plans to bring back former captain Gareth Widdop in a swap with dropped five-eighth Corey Norman.

News Corp reported on Tuesday that English star Widdop, who joined Super League club Warrington this year after six seasons at St George Illawarra, wants to return to the NRL for personal reasons.

Norman, contracted for 2021, has been dropped from the team to face the Roosters but McGregor branded speculation of the pivot being offered to Warrington in exchange for Widdop "really unfair".

"The first time [Norman] hasn't been picked in 18 months at the club and we're talking about Gareth coming back already," he said.

"That's too unfair at this raw stage to even talk about it. And it hasn't been mentioned to me with the recruitment either.

Has McGregor made the right call in dropping Norman?

"I have not been told anything about that and it's just so unfair to the player, in Corey, that's here. We want Corey to play well this year."

However, McGregor acknowledged Norman has "been below his best" and must improve his game-management and creativity.

Adam Clune, returning after a week off due to a head knock, will partner Ben Hunt in the halves against the Roosters at WIN Stadium on Thursday night.

"Corey and Adam's preference is to play on the left side of the field, so we thought the function of the team could improve if we made the tough decision," McGregor said.

That's too unfair at this raw stage to even talk about it

Dragons coach Paul McGregor

McGregor plans to give Tristan Sailor an increased role off the bench after an energetic cameo in last week's loss to the Rabbitohs.

The 22-year-old threw an intercept pass for an Alex Johnston try but also had the vision to set up a Mikaele Ravalawa four-pointer with a grubber.

The playmaker was among the last to leave the training field on Wednesday.

"Tristan's only played [14] minutes in 2020, so it's very hard to go out and expect him to go out and be in control of his game at a young stage of his career," McGregor said.

"So we thought the right thing to do this week was to give Tristan more time but not expect him to play 80 minutes just yet.

"Outside that decision [that led to an intercept] I thought his game was good. He was busy, he was active, defensively he was strong. He did set up a try for us [and] ran the footy.

"So we just need more of that when he gets on the field this week."

Sailor can be X-factor for Dragons

Like the Dragons, the Roosters have tweaked their halves with Kyle Flanagan, the NRL's leading point-scorer, dropped for Lachlan Lam.

"That does surprise me," McGregor said.

The 21-year-old's absence means St George Illawarra assistant coach Shane Flanagan won't get the chance to plot against his son.

"Obviously [the Roosters] have got a lot of faith in Lam coming in, he's been doing a role as that 13 middle ball-playing for the Roosters," McGregor said.