NRL: Fien targets regular role with Dragons

Jilted New Zealand Warrior Nathan Fien doesn't mind where as long as he gets regular game time for his new National Rugby League (NRL) club.

The Warriors yesterday agreed to release Fien from his contract four months early so he could accept a deal to join St George Illawarra in Sydney next week.

He had earlier signed a three-year deal in May to join the Dragons next season.

One attraction of linking with the Dragons, co-leaders of the competition after 16 rounds alongside the Canterbury Bulldogs, is the chance to work under top coach Wayne Bennett.

The Warriors found little use for the utility this season, with Fien starting just two matches in his preferred position at halfback, in a pre-season trial and the opening NRL match of the year against Parramatta.

The return from retirement of the legendary Stacey Jones saw Fien, 29, squeezed out of the equation at the Auckland-based club, something he said was a reality of professional sport.

"This stuff happens in rugby league,. I am just looking to finish this year on a high," he told Radio Sport today.

"I am very excited what has come about in the last 24 hours. I am very excited about going to the Dragons."

Fien suspects he will have to battle Mathew Head for the role of bench utility at the Dragons, but this does not faze him.

"I can't see myself in the halves with them at the moment with two blokes (five-eighth Jamie Soward and halfback Ben Hornby) going so well.

"I may have to play a bit at hooker or take a utility role, but at least I am back in the NRL, playing at the highest level and getting out there week-in week-out. That wasn't happening at the Warriors."

Fien joined the Warriors from the North Queensland Cowboys in 2005 and played 105 NRL matches for them, earning promoting to the Kiwis, who he helped win the World Cup last year.

Bennett said the addition of Fien would add depth to his squad.

"Nathan is a versatile player and I am sure he will fit in well with our club, players and the style of football we like to play," Bennett said.

- NZPA


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