Dragons eye NRL future against Cowboys

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Hope of an NRL finals berth isn't completely extinguished but St George Illawarra coach Anthony Griffin has an eye on the future heading into Saturday's clash with North Queensland.

Last weekend's defeat to the Sydney Roosters - the Dragons sixth-straight loss - means a top-eight finish is a very remote possibility now for Griffin's team even if they win their two remaining fixtures.

Instead, Griffin appears set to give valuable experience to some of his club's youngsters, particularly Tyrell Sloan who has been named at fullback in place of Matt Dufty.

The Dragons coach says 19-year-old Sloan deserves a shot at some more first grade matches before the season ends.

"It's an opportunity for him to continue his development," Griffin said.

"Every time he's played he's done a really good job, particularly in attack.

"Even though he hasn't been playing we've been working very hard with him on his positional play and his understanding of the fullback role.

"It gives him another opportunity tomorrow in a big game."

Griffin said Dufty was "okay" with being axed but it may mean the 25-year-old has made his final appearance for the Red V ahead of a move to Canterbury for next season.

Sloan will form part of a teenage trio in the spine for the Dragons against the Cowboys with Talatau Amone at five-eighth and Jayden Sullivan at hooker.

"The three of them have played a lot of footy together," Griffin said.

"It's exciting to have them all out in these type of games."

Meanwhile, Griffin confirmed the club's interest in Manly centre Moses Suli, saying the 23-year-old had been on the Dragons' radar for a while.

The Cowboys head to Rockhampton aiming to end a 10-game losing streak which has seen them plummet down the ladder and out of finals contention.

Todd Payten does at least welcome back Kyle Feldt (jaw) and Murray Taulagi (concussion) while Jason Taumalolo (hand) has been named but needs to prove his fitness to play.

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