Souths No.9 Damien Cook set to complete Dragons return

Damien Cook's NRL career is set to come full circle with the South Sydney hooker poised to seal a return to St George Illawarra.

Cook is expected to join the Dragons in 2025 on a two-year deal after being granted a release from the final season of his deal with the Rabbitohs.

The 32-year-old's exit will allow Souths to strengthen their roster ahead of the impending return of Wayne Bennett with the path now clear for Peter Mamouzelos to become the Bunnies' first-choice No.9.

Cook began his career at the Dragons, before leaving Canterbury for Souths in 2016 where he developed into one of the game's top hookers.

The dummy-half went on to win Test caps for Australia and has been a consistent pick in NSW State of Origin sides during his time with South Sydney.

While he is heading towards the back-end of his NRL career and was overlooked for the Blues this year, Cook's impending move to the Dragons is nevertheless a coup for coach Shane Flanagan.

The Red V have struggled to settle on a permanent first-choice hooker since Cameron McInnes missed the 2021 season through injury and then moved to join Cronulla.