Dragons to secure Lomax on record breaking deal
Zac Lomax is set to sign the longest deal in St George Illawarra history after agreeing to a monster six-year contract.
The in-demand Lomax, 20, has rejected interest from a host of clubs, including Wests Tigers and Canberra, for a deal worth about $3 million in a massive show of faith for the struggling Dragons.
It is understood the final year of the multi-year deal is an option in Lomax's favour.
The length of the contract is only matched in Dragons history by the one to land halfback Ben Hunt from Brisbane two years ago. Hunt's original deal was five years and an option for a sixth.
Lomax was already contracted until the end of next season but was one of the most in-demand players in the competition having long been earmarked as a first grade star.
The interest in him comes despite the goalkicker having played just 17 top-grade games since making his NRL debut last year.
Lomax, whose partner Jessica Sergis is a star in her own right with the Dragons' NRLW side, will have an opportunity to press ahead with his goal of being the club's first-choice fullback.
While club officials are unsure whether Lomax's long-term future is in the No.1 jersey or in the centres, Dragons coach Paul McGregor will give him first crack at fullback this year.
"It's good that (McGregor has) got confidence in me," Lomax said this week. "Hopefully, the playing group's got confidence in me as well.
"I'll make sure I try and get that from them by just showing them I can work hard and put in the effort on the training paddock so I get that respect.
"I think if you can bring a good work rate to the team and you bring effort and you compete on each play, I think that can go a long way as a fullback.
"You look at someone like Charzne Nicoll-Klokstad. He's fresh to the NRL but you look at what he brought to his team week in, week out. He competed on everything."
Lomax rose through Illawarra's junior ranks, representing the Australian Schoolboys and under-18s NSW before being picked in the Prime Minister's XIII side last year.
St George Illawarra's two centres, Tim Lafai and Euan Aitken, are off contract at the end of the season.
With Lomax signed, the Dragons will now focus on retaining Kangaroos back-rower Tyson Frizell.
The contracts of Frizell, James Graham, Jacob Host, Mikaele Ravalawa and new recruit Issac Luke expire at the end of next year.
The Dragons' latest signing Trent Merrin joined the side this week, while St George Illawarra are also pursuing Catalans outside back Brayden Wiliame.