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Stanley still aiming for Dragons No.7

Kyle Stanley is still aiming to force his way into the halves at St George Illawarra this NRL season, even though the Dragons comeback kid has been told he'll start off the bench as a utility.
Stanley still aiming for Dragons No.7
by AAP

By Ben Horne

SYDNEY, Feb 19 AAP - Kyle Stanley is still aiming to force his way into the halves at St George Illawarra this NRL season, even though the Dragons comeback kid has been told he'll start off the bench as a utility.

The 22-year-old has recovered from his fourth full knee reconstruction and admits his initial goal in Saturday's Charity Shield clash against South Sydney is "just to stay on the field".

Canberra recruit Sam Williams will get first crack at partnering Gareth Widdop in the halves, but Stanley isn't giving up hope of forcing his way into the No.7 jersey.

"That's my No.1 goal," he said at St George hospital, which along with Wollongong Hospital benefits from the Charity Shield.

"Everyone has goals and that's mine. I've just got to play footy and get some game time under my belt.

"At (dummy-half), you get the ball in your hands nearly every play so if I see an opportunity, I use my instinct or skills and play it as a five-eighth."

With each knee reconstruction, it seems Stanley has shifted a position - starting on the wing and now packing into the scrum.

Stanley has learnt to laugh at his injury history, but it hasn't always been funny.

The St George junior admits he was in a dark place in 2013, contemplating whether to give the game away.

However, in a sign loyalty isn't dead in rugby league, Stanley never considered leaving the Dragons, despite interest from other clubs.

"The Dragons have been loyal to me and I owe everything to them," he said.

"They've stuck by me so I've never had any thoughts of leaving the Dragons at all.

"It was the toughest time. I think everyone who has had serious injuries like that have felt in a dark place and secluded. The club made me feel a lot more comfortable."


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