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Less talk, more action needed as part of reboot: Kerr

Josh Kerr is sick of the "empty words" from St George Illawarra and wants the team's actions to do the talking in 2021.

After disappointing finishes of 12th and 15th over the past two seasons, Kerr says it's time to put up or shut up.

"How many years, honestly, have you seen the Dragons say, 'We've got all these Origin players, how great we are', and we can't even make the [top] eight?" the prop said after training on Tuesday.

"That's the sort of thing I want to change. We need to actually start doing it instead of just talking about how good we can be.

"To be honest, it's embarrassing. We've just got to get it done. We've had a lot of experience walk out the door, but you look at Penrith and how young their side was and how well they did [in 2020]."

He may be reluctant to make any bold predictions on how the team will fare, but Kerr noted the good vibes under new coach Anthony Griffin and assistants Matthew Elliott and Peter Gentle.

Analysing the Dragons' 2021 draw

The 24-year-old, who started his pre-season on Monday after a longer break, says he wasn't intending to disparage ex-mentor Paul McGregor but an overhaul was necessary.

"We weren't getting the results that we needed, so we needed a kick up the backside and a cleanout," he said.

"Pre-season's pre-season - you always hear about how everyone's dreading it, but everyone's loving rocking up. Yeah, it's tough as, but [the staff] actually make it more enjoyable by being more positive.

Dragons' top five tries of 2020

"Everyone's trying hard, everyone's doing it tough, and these blokes that are here coaching us and helping us ... I won't go into detail about years past, but you hear the old stories about [when] you're not doing so well, you're sort of getting sprayed.

"And these blokes, they're more understanding. It's a refresh of thinking, a new train of thinking.

"I don't want to go into detail or anything because it sounds like I'm saying how bad it used to be ... It's hard because I had a lot to do with Mary [McGregor] and I really liked him. He gave me my debut and he had a lot to do with me becoming a first-grader."

Kerr enjoyed a strong 2020 season despite St George Illawarra's poor results, earning a spot in the Maroons' triumphant State of Origin squad. He didn't play in the November series but won the Peter Jackson Memorial award for displaying Queensland spirit.

"It was honestly the best month of my life. It's literally a dream come true ... To go in there and meet those blokes and just to be a part of an environment that was like none other than I've seen before," he said.

To be honest, it's embarrassing. We've just got to go get it done

Dragons prop Josh Kerr

Having now played 27 NRL games and bolstered by his Maroons experience, Kerr hopes to step up for the Dragons and foster a similar feeling to the tight-knit Queensland camp.

"The boys have already started, they've already done an amazing job with the different culture that I've come back to," he said.

"I just want to try and be a leader as much as possible. I'm not a big fan of saying what I want to do, I'd rather just do it."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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