Compassionate Commitment: Dragons to stand by Cody Ramsey

Cody Ramsey of the Dragons celebrates with Corey Norman of the Dragons after scoring a try, which was then disallowed by the video referee, during the round three NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at WIN Stadium on March 26, 2021, in Wollongong, Australia. 

In a gesture of unwavering support and compassion, the St George Illawarra Dragons are in discussions with the NRL about extending Cody Ramsey’s contract, transcending typical player-club dynamics.

Ramsey, who may be facing an untimely end to his rugby league career due to a debilitating bowel condition, has found solace in the club’s commitment to paying him out of their own coffers if a return to the paddock proves insurmountable.

The Molong junior, once the Dragons’ first-choice fullback, saw his promising career trajectory abruptly altered when he was struck down with a rare inflammatory bowel condition just weeks before Christmas in 2022.

As Tyrell Sloan assumed the fullback role this year, Ramsey found himself sidelined, undergoing an extensive series of surgeries during the entirety of the 2023 season.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his ability to play again, the Dragons have engaged in ongoing negotiations with the NRL to navigate the delicate situation, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The potential agreement could see his remaining salary spread across two years, a compassionate move that wouldn’t burden the team’s salary cap.

This selfless act not only allows Ramsey the time he needs to recover but also reflects the club’s commitment to the wellbeing of its players beyond the confines of the field – an act that could ultimately showcase the former powerhouse club as a place where new recruits would feel safe.

Sources within the club remain tight-lipped due to ongoing negotiations, with Ramsey likely to be omitted from the 2024 top 30 squad, creating room for potential signings or the promotion of a lower-grade Dragon.

St George Illawarra’s powerbrokers have been actively strategising how best to support the 23-year-old player, maintaining regular communication with NRL salary cap auditors.

The goal is to provide Ramsey with a sense of security amid the uncertainty, acknowledging the physical and emotional toll of his battle with ulcerative colitis.

In the face of adversity, the Dragons’ approach stands as a beacon of compassion, recognising that some battles are fought beyond the field.

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