By STEVE MASCORD
CENTRE Charly Runciman has no regrets about re-signing with St George Illawarra before the current coaching ructions.
Runciman agreed to a two-year extension before Steve Price was sacked and now faces uncertainty over whether caretaker Paul McGregor will retain the role or a more experienced mentor is brought in for 2015.
“I re-signed before everything happened but it doesn’t really have an impact,” Runciman, 20, tells League Week.
“I was pretty keen to stay. I’ve got mates down there now. It was easy just to stick around. All my mates were here at the Dragons.
“It’s a bit more stable. I can finish Uni. I’m studying civil engineering at Wollongong Uni. You need something after footy.
“At the moment, I’m just trying to cement my spot in this team. If I do that, I can work and build in the years to come. Whatever the team needs, I’m here to do.”
The Dubbo-raised Runciman was the joint venture’s 2012 NYC player of the year and made his first grade debut in round 16 last year against Penrith.
Currently shunted out to the win with the move of Josh Dugan to the centres and injury to Brett Morris, Runciman says having a former Australia centre in McGregor as coach has been a bonus.
“Mary’s been really good, especially being a centre,” he says. “It’s a help to me when I need someone to talk to about attack and defence.
“If I’ve got any questions I can go straight up and ask him and he’s more than helpful.
“Duges, he’s a great player and no matter where he’s playing he’s going to do a job for the team. Because he’s such a great ball carrier … in the centres, that’s something you really need.
“Duges has always had that. It was just a matter of where the coaches wanted him to play. He’s found himself in the centres and he’s doing a great job.”
The Dragons are hopeful of making a late run to the finals. McGregor says when he took over, he knew he needed to win eight of the remaining 14 games.
“For myself, this year has been a bit stop-start,” says Runciman. “I found myself in NSW Cup and had to fix a few things. I’m taking the opportunity while I’ve got it in first grade.
“For the team, it’s a little bit similar. We’re building each week and we’re getting better and better. It’s starting to show on the paddock, I think.
“We got a win (against Gold Coast), we went close against Penrith and I’m sure we can back it up against Melbourne on Monday.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK