Carr brings back Lomax in his first big Dragons call
Ryan Carr has made the first major decision as St George Illawarra's interim coach, bringing Zac Lomax and Jacob Liddle straight back into their NRL team.
Carr took over the Dragons' training on Tuesday morning, just hours after Anthony Griffin was axed by the club.
Determined to show a united group, the Dragons twice embraced in a team huddle in the opening 15 minutes of the session on the outside field at WIN Stadium in Wollongong.
Carr was part of that address, vocal in the early stages of life without Griffin at the helm.
His influence was immediate after quickly submitting a team list before running his first session.
Lomax is the main beneficiary, brought back into the centres after being dropped a fortnight ago by Griffin and left frustrated by a lack of feedback.
The centre starred in reserve grade on the weekend against Newcastle, scoring a try as part of a Dragons' comeback and icing two clutch conversions from the sideline.
Liddle will also start at hooker after being omitted by Griffin two weeks ago, with Jayden Sullivan on the bench as No.14 and Moses Mbye left out of the side.
Having only arrived at the Dragons during the off-season, Carr most recently served as Parramatta's attacking coach in 2022.
A half in his playing days, he was brought to South Sydney by Michael Maguire early last decade and rivalled an uncapped Adam Reynolds for the No.7 jersey at the start of 2012.
As a coach, his biggest job prior to Tuesday was with Featherstone Rovers in the English second-tier Championship.
He won 21 of 35 games in charge of the club in 2019 and took the Rovers to within 80 minutes of promotion in the playoff against Toronto.
He then returned to Australia via the Eels' NSW Cup side before moving into an assistant role last year.
Carr has been Griffin's left-hand man all year, sitting with him in the coach's box while fellow assistant Ben Woolf wore the headphones on the sideline.
The 34-year-old's appointment is only likely to be short-term with Jason Ryles, Ben Hornby or Dean Young tipped to have the top job next year.
Carr faces a difficult four months ahead but speaking prior to the appointment the players backed him to do the job.
"If that's the decision they make, he's been fantastic as an assistant coach," forward Jack de Belin said.
"So has Ben, they've done a fantastic job.
"It's disappointing that we haven't given them the results that they deserve and the recognition."