Departing Zac Lomax leaves Dragons fans bewildered

The reason Zac Lomax will walk away from the final two years of his St George Illawarra deal remains shrouded in mystery after the would-be centre addressed his decision to leave for NRL rivals Parramatta in 2025.

Lomax will leave the best part of $1.6m on the table after waiving the final two seasons of his Dragons contract to ink a four-year deal with the Eels, starting in 2025.

The 24-year-old’s eagerness to get out of the Dragons - the only club he has ever played for - is intriguing.

Lomax’s form has been so good for Shane Flanagan in 2024 that his name has been tossed up in discussions to fill the gaps in the NSW State of Origin backline.

Zac Lomax's strong displays for the Dragons has him in State of Origin contention.

But his sparkling performances for the Dragons have often come on the wing, a position Lomax appears to have little appetite to play in permanently.

Lomax said a lot while saying little in a 13-minute press conference in Wollongong on Thursday, but Dragons fans are seeking answers as to the rationale behind his exit. 

“My teammates know that I’m a guy that will do what’s best for the team,” Lomax said, when asked about the switch to the wing.

“I feel I’ve done that. I’d like to hope that you guys can see I’ve proven that and been able to do that on a weekly basis. 

“I feel we’ve started the season well and there’s a few games we could have performed better in patches. I’m positive and looking forward.”

He added: “My best game of football is when I’m chasing the ball, when I’m competing on anything and when I’m playing around the footy, no matter what position that is - right centre, left centre, right wing, left wing or fullback.”

At least three times throughout his press conference the Dragons flyer said he would be more open to addressing his exit from the club “next year” when he arrived at the Eels. 

Lomax could not explain what changed at the Dragons and what triggered him to seek pastures new after professing to “love the club”.

“I’m not too sure,” he said. 

While he sidestepped questions about his position, his future and his happiness at the Dragons, Lomax admits he would be keen to make his long-awaited Origin bow. 

Blues coach Michael Maguire has kept abreast of Lomax’s form and the Dragons winger’s versatility and goal-kicking prowess could force him into the NSW squad. 

Lomax will have one last chance to impress Maguire when the Dragons face the Bulldogs next Thursday.

“Madge has had a couple of words with me and he just wants me to keep my head down and just compete,” Lomax said. 

“My focus is that I want to continuously be able to do that at the Dragons. I want to be winning games of football, and that’s my focus.”

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