As the 2024 NRL season approaches, Wide World of Sports’ The Mole identifies the “critical factors” that will make or break each team.

‘WORRY’ OVER WANTAWAY STAR

Ben Hunt has made it clear he hasn’t been a happy camper at the Dragons for the past couple of seasons – a real worry when he is far and away the club’s best player.

Here, he examines the Dragons and the “awkward” predicament that new coach Shane Flanagan faces.

And Hunt wanted sacked coach Anthony Griffin retained – so it will be interesting to see how his relationship with new boss Shane Flanagan develops.

 

Ben Hunt. (Getty)

Hunt has agreed to stay for 2024 – but if things don’t work out he will seek a release to return to Queensland for 2025 and that will be disastrous for the Dragons.

‘AWKWARD’ FAMILY BUSINESS

Still on Flanagan, and things could get awkward with the player he insisted on signing – son Kyle.

Shane has a huge opinion of his boy, but the youngster still has to prove himself as a match-winning NRL playmaker.

If the Dragons lose a few games on the trot – and there will be rough patches in 2024 – the heat could be on both father and son in the eyes of the beleaguered Dragons fans.

Kyle has been dropped before – but will his dad be able to make the big call?

Never easy for a father to coach his son (unless your last name is Cleary!).

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