St George Illawarra Dragons teenager Talatau ‘Junior’ Amone outlines ambition to win nod from coach Anthony Griffin to be Ben Hunt’s halves partner

Amone is tied to the Dragons until the end of 2023 – the same year in which Hunt’s massive contract ends – and already rival clubs are watching with interest as to how St George Illawarra juggle the futures of both he and Sullivan.

“We had a talk about it before Sully re-signed,” Amone said. “We do like playing with each other and feel like we bounce off each other really well. We play a similar type of footy and if we can, 100 per cent we want to stay together.

I’ve just got to prove to him now I’m ready to play each and every game in the No.6 jersey. That’s the goal

Junior Amone

“We grew up together and all had the same dream. We always talked about it. Seeing [Sullivan and Sloan] do it as well is a great feeling. But nothing is ever certain. If we can [stay together], we will.”

Amone, who counts professional boxer Justis Huni among his cousins, has used boxing as a key part of his pre-season and has been impressed with the versatility of Tigers recruit Moses Mbye, who’s another candidate to fill the five-eighth position if needed.

Mbye will join a slew of recruits including Jaydn Su’A (Rabbitohs), Moses Suli (Sea Eagles), Francis Molo (Cowboys), George Burgess (Wigan) and Aaron Woods (Sharks) in hoping to convince St George Illawarra’s board to extend Griffin’s contract beyond the upcoming season.


“He’s a great coach and he knows the way I play,” Amone said. “He keeps the structure we can play around, but if we see an opportunity he wants us to take it. He gives us confidence to back ourselves.

“Some coaches say, ‘you need to stick to this plan or you need to stick to that plan’, but he says, ‘if you see an opportunity, I know you’ve got the talent to do it, so you’ve got to back yourself’. He always makes sure your life off the field is good to make sure you perform on the field.

“I feel like we don’t need to look into what people expect of us [in 2022]. We know what we’ve got to do to be a better team.”

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