McInnes to skipper Dragons in NRL

Dragons hooker Cameron McInnes has been appointed skipper after 73 NRL games for the club.
Dragons hooker Cameron McInnes has been appointed skipper after 73 NRL games for the club.

Cameron McInnes will be the second-youngest captain in St George Illawarra's history after he was announced on Monday as the successor to Gareth Widdop.

The 25-year-old hooker has quickly become a fan favourite since joining the club in 2017, missing just one game, and was named the Dragons' player of the year in 2019.

The youngest captain in club history is Trent Barrett, who was 24 when he took over as skipper in 2002.

"It's a huge honour to be named captain of the St George Illawarra Dragons. It was an unbelievable feeling when I was told," McInnes, who has played 73 games for the Dragons, said.

"This club has a great fan base and following, so to be their captain is a huge responsibility. I'm focused and plan on upholding the club's legacy and doing everyone proud.

"It's a challenge I'm looking forward to. There's plenty of great people at this club who will help me along the way, which is great as I have plenty of learning and growth as a player to come."

Coach Paul McGregor has made no secret of his admiration for McInnes, who set the standard for effort and heart during a difficult season in 2019.

In a club statement, McGregor hailed the player's toughness and spoke of his importance as a leader for the Dragons.

"Cameron demonstrates, drives and reinforces what is acceptable and not acceptable in our club's behaviour and standards. His ability to play through pain and fatigue is as good as anyone I have coached," McGregor said.

"Cameron plays with passion, he's gritty and he's a trustworthy liaison between the staff and players.

"He's been our most consistent player over the past three years which was really important when it came to deciding the leader of the club."

Australian Associated Press