St George Illawarra re-sign Jason Nightingale

ST George Illawarra fan favourite Jason Nightingale is edging closer to signing a contract extension that will pave the way for him to break a number of club records.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal Dragons officials will sit down with Nightingale in the coming weeks to finalise a deal, for at least one more year.

Dragons Director of Rugby League Pathways Ian Millward confirmed the Red V’s intentions to retain the off-contract New Zealand international and 2008 World Cup winner.

If Nightingale commits on a long-term deal he would go close to becoming the most capped St George Illawarra player, while he has his sights set on most tries and points for a winger.

According to Millward, the veteran winger deserves everything that comes his way.

“We are going to sit down and have a discussion (with Jason) very soon,” Millward said about Nightingale, who passed the 100 career try mark with a hat-trick against Newcastle last Sunday.

“We see so many ups sides in him and it’s not only about his versatility on the field.

“We will have a lot of young guys in the squad next year, so it gives them an opportunity to be mentored by Jason. We also don’t want to lose experience and we respect Jason being a one-club player.

“We had a lot of players’ off-contract and we have been working through our roster and we feel comfortable when our talks will start with Jason.

“He doesn’t want to retire and he sees many more years left in him and his form on the field back that up.”

Millward said Nightingale was not only respected for his on-field exploits, which have seen him win a premiership in 2010 and play over 230 top grade games.

He pinpointed the flyer’s work off the field through the set-up of his Elite Athlete Business School — a weekly program he devised to help his fellow NRL players plan for life after football.

“That’s why when we sit down with Jason, we’ll look at all his aspects,” he said.

“He brings so much off the field and he is very good at mentoring our young guys. There is a good package there.”