One of Australia’s richest people, Andrew Forrest, is set to splash his cash in the NRL for the first time with a multimillion-dollar deal to sponsor St George Illawarra.
The club’s long-running deal with St George Bank ends after next season and Forrest’s Squadron Energy will take over as the major sponsor on the front of the Dragons’ jersey.
For the mining magnate known as “Twiggy”, it is his first investment in rugby league after bankrolling the Western Force in rugby union for several years.
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, 2GB radio host Chris O’Keefe, a lifetime Dragons supporter, set up a meeting between the club and Forrest’s executives a couple of months ago and talks have progressed to a point where Squadron is set to come on board.
Forrest’s personal wealth has been estimated at more than $30 billion although the current dollar figure is clouded somewhat by his divorce proceedings with Fortescue Metals being divided with his former wife Nicola.
The Dragons’ huge financial injection is a shot in the arm for the club as it looks to rebuild after five straight seasons of missing the playoffs.
They finished 16th last season after sacking coach Anthony Griffin midway through the season with interim Ryan Carr taking over for the rest of the 5-19 campaign.
New coach Shane Flanagan is on the lookout for star recruits and is keen to lure Roosters centre Joey Manu and Warriors prop Addin Fonua-Blake to the club.