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Young assures Hunt of hooking role in first day in charge

Interim coach Dean Young told Ben Hunt he would wear the No.9 jersey against Brisbane and probably for the rest of the year as he outlined his plans to Dragons players on his first day in charge.

Young has been appointed until the end of the season after the departure of long-serving coach Paul McGregor with a win over Parramatta on Friday night and he immediately set about putting his stamp on the job.

After the St George Illawarra players arrived at WIN Stadium on Monday, he called them to a meeting to detail what the next six weeks would be like under his coaching as the 11th-placed Dragons attempt to sneak into the finals.

Young confirmed Hunt would be playing hooker against the Broncos on Friday in Brisbane and told forward Korbin Sims that he expects him to run hard and lay a platform for playmakers Adam Clune and Corey Norman.

"He hasn’t given me a long-term future but straight away, as soon as he got here, he said you are definitely going to be playing hooker this weekend so you can prepare for that," Hunt said.

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"I think that is where I am going to be for the rest of this year. Just looking at how our side is set up I think that is probably the best option for us."

Sims, who appeared to be on the outer for six weeks before returning in the 14-12 upset over the Eels, said he hoped to have done enough to convince Young he should retain his spot for the trip to Brisbane.

"Deano has come out very purposely and made a plan of what he wants for the rest of the year," Sims said.

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"At the moment he is all about how he wants us boys running hard, especially as a middle forward, and being able to play off the back of that.

"If the forwards can create the opportunities for the outside backs to do the work, I am all for it."

Interchange forward Jacob Host has played under Young in St George Illawarra's under 20s team of 2014, which also featured the likes of halfback Adam Clune, fullback Matt Dufty and centre Euan Aitken.

"We had a pretty good team back then and we were unlucky not to go a bit further than we did so a lot of the boys have a long relationship with Deano and we are very comfortable bouncing ideas off him and he is very open to it as well," Host said.

"He always brings a lot of intensity, he is a very passionate man, he loves the Red V, he obviously played here for years and won a comp so he is trying to bring that same sort of success that he had.

"He comes from a very proud family that had a lot of success with this club so he wants to do himself and the club proud."

The board will meet on Tuesday to discuss the process for finding a long-term replacement for McGregor but the players said they would support the appointment of Young.

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"I just went up before to say congratulations to him and that I think he definitely deserves to be given a shot," Host said.

"It is in strange circumstances at the moment but he is more than ready for it and I think he will put his best foot forward for the job."

Hunt said Young, who played 209 matches for St George Illawarra and was a member of the club's 2010 premiership-winning team, "would be a great coach".

"I have had three years here with Deano now and he is very committed and really focused on what he wants from a team and how he thinks the game should be played," Hunt said.

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