Jayden Sullivan wins race for Dragons' No.6 jersey

Jayden Sullivan has won the race for the St George Illawarra No.6 jersey with Jack Bird confirming he will start the season at lock.

The Dragons' five-eighth role has become the poisoned chalice of the NRL pre-season, with three players holding the rights to the position in the past three months.

Incumbent Tyrell Amone was set to start the season at No.6, before he was charged with assault and stood down under the NRL's no-fault policy.

Sullivan was expected to fill the void before Bird emerged as the eventual front-runner, with his experience a big plus for coach Anthony Griffin.

However, that situation changed dramatically when both were hurt in the space of two weeks, with Sullivan sidelined by a hamstring injury and Bird a knee operation.

Sullivan returned for the Charity Shield where he impressed for the Dragons coming off the bench, while he is also known to have pleased Griffin with his training.

That has been enough for Griffin to decide to partner him with Hunt when the Dragons play Gold Coast after their round-one bye, with Bird on track to be fit to play lock.

"I trained at five-eighth, then I hurt my knee and got dropped from there before I even played a game," Bird quipped.

"I think I'll be in 13. Hopefully that's where I will stay the whole season.

"I am fine with that call. I knew it was only going to be temporary at five-eighth. I didn't expect to play there the whole season.

"I obviously want clarity around what position I will play. I was saying to Hook (Griffin) I don't want to go there for three weeks and then all of a sudden move back to lock.

"I would rather stay in one position and try and be the best in that one position I can be."

Sullivan's effort to shore up the No.6 jersey comes after he requested a release from the club at the end of last season, before being convinced to stay.

At the time, and before Amone's off-field dramas, he told AAP he had been sold a long-term path to a halves spot at the Dragons.

That door has now opened up far quicker than expected for the 21-year-old.

It also means Hunt will be the one surviving member of their spine from last season, with Tyrell Sloan at fullback and Jacob Liddle hooker.

Regardless, Hunt insisted cohesion would not be an issue early and said it was important the Dragons persisted with the combination long-term.

"If we can keep that spine together for as long as possible, I think it will be really good for us," he said.