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15th of October 2018


McGregor relishing underdog tag as Dragons hatch de Belin plan

Paul McGregor will give Jack de Belin until as late as the warm-up to prove his fitness for the do-or-die finals clash against the Rabbitohs as the Dragons coach relishes another week of being touted as heavy underdogs.

Just a week after dumping the Broncos out of the finals, the wounded Dragons aren't expected to make a final decision on de Belin until less than an hour before kick-off at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

Not bothered: Paul McGregor.

Not bothered: Paul McGregor.Credit:Adam McLean

St George Illawarra have already lost captain Gareth Widdop (dislocated shoulder) and will consider drafting in the fit-again Euan Aitken (hamstring) or Jason Nightingale (elbow) as a bench alternative should de Belin make it through the warm-up.

Hame Sele has been included on the bench as cover for de Belin, who didn't take part in last week's captain's run before gritting his teeth to get through more than 50 minutes against the Broncos. He will again receive a painkilling injection in a bid to feature against South Sydney.

While de Belin's spot won't be confirmed until late in the piece, there is little doubt the Dragons will start as huge outsiders against the Rabbitohs, who came within a whisker of toppling Melbourne and progressing to a preliminary final.

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