AXED: Paul McGregor (left) has been named interim Dragons’ coach for the remainder of the season after the club sacked Steve Price yesterday.
AXED: Paul McGregor (left) has been named interim Dragons’ coach for the remainder of the season after the club sacked Steve Price yesterday. Mark Nolan Getty Images

Wayne Bennnett could return to Dragons after Price fired

DRAGONS premiership coach Wayne Bennett could be headed back to the red-and-whites after his replacement Steve Price was axed from the top job yesterday.

Chief executive Peter Doust said six losses in the past seven games was not acceptable given the club's improved roster this season.

"Unfortunately team performance and results have not met the required standards, particularly this season, despite a refresh of performance management strategies and structure at the end of last year, and a significant change to the playing roster," Doust said.

"Whilst we can never predict the future, the board determined that change was required for the balance of the 2014 season."

Former club champion and assistant coach Paul McGregor will be the interim coach for the remainder of the season.

An assistant with the New South Wales Origin team, McGregor flew to Wollongong from the Blues training camp in Brisbane yesterday to talk to the Dragons players, and will return to Queensland before the opening game of the 2014 Origin series tomorrow night.

Describing the situation as "difficult" given his friendship with Price, McGregor said his first priority would be to improve the team's defence which has conceded 108 points in its last three games "This change will be a new challenge for the players to face, but we have a good football team and good group of men," McGregor said.

Speculation has already started over who will be the long-term coach from next season, with Tim Sheens, Neil Henry, NSW mentor Laurie Daley and Bennett all mentioned as potential candidates.


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