Dragon Norman in search of big NRL season

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Corey Norman admits he is in the midst of one of the most important years of his career as he faces an uncertain future for the first time since his NRL debut in 2010.

Norman on Tuesday spoke publicly after being involved in an Australia Day street brawl, where he unsuccessfully argued to the NRL he was acting in self-defence.

The St George Illawarra five-eighth would not go into the matter or claims the NRL needed to do more to protect players, other than to say it hurt to miss round one.

But he is more concerned about his future.

The Dragons five-eighth is off-contract at the end of this season, after arriving at the club in 2019 on a deal of around $800,000 per year.

It seems almost certain Norman would now need to take a paycut to stay, with the 30-year-old yet to have any talks with coach Anthony Griffin about his future.

"It's probably the first time I have ever been off-contract in my career, so it's a different feeling," Norman said.

"But I know what I need to do and I know I need a good year. I just worry about that each week.

"It doesn't really play on my mind. I have known about it for a while that I was coming off contract and obviously through preseason."

"I'm old enough to know what goes on and how it goes so I will worry about my football. And if I'm playing good enough football I know it will come up."

One thing he does appreciate though is Griffin's support.

The Dragons firmly stood by Norman as he initially challenged the NRL's one-game ban and $20,000 fine, which was later halved.

Griffin, who coach Norman as a youngster at Brisbane, also made clear he would regain the No.6 jersey from Adam Clune after the first round.

"Hook definitely has (backed me). And as players that's what you want, your coach backing you," Norman said.

"You train for three months and train hard and not to play round one, it hurts."

Meanwhile the Dragons do believe the old Brisbane combination of Andrew McCullough and Ben Hunt will continue to bring the best out in Hunt.

Hunt also enjoyed his best game in the past two years at the Dragons, scoring once and setting up two others tries after taking the captaincy this summer.

"I think the extra responsibility will do him a lot of good," Norman said.

"You saw on the weekend he was the best player out on the field.

"He is doing a good job out on the field at the moment and we all believe in Benny."