Paul Vaughan Photo: Getty Images
St George Illawarra have won the race for Canberra discard Paul Vaughan, signing the giant prop to a three-year NRL deal.
Vaughan has inked a contract reportedly worth $500,000 a season with the Dragons who will begin next year under immense pressure after a disappointing 2016.
The three-time NSW Country representative was once touted as a future State of Origin representative but fell down Ricky Stuart's pecking order in the back half of the season, leading him to seek a release from the final year of his contract.
The Dragons beat off a number of suitors including Newcastle, Parramatta and Gold Coast to secure Vaughan's signature.
"I'm very happy to be joining the Dragons who have such a rich history and looking forward to starting the pre-season alongside my new teammates," Vaughan said.
"The focus now is training hard over the coming months to establish myself within a very strong forward pack and playing my role within the squad."
Vaughan started 2016 in the Raiders' starting XIII but ended the year in NSW Cup.
With Stuart preferring the likes of Junior Paulo, Shannon Boyd and Clay Priest, Vaughan was dropped in round 18 and struggled to return to the starting side for the rest of the season.
The 25-year-old played 85 games for the Raiders since his debut in 2013 and the Dragons jumped at the opportunity to add depth to their front-row after a disappointing season in which they finished 11th.
He'll form a front row rotation with the likes of Leeson Ah Mau, Russell Packer and Mose Masoe, who missed 2016 with a torn ACL.
"Paul is a big-sized front-rower who has played representative rugby league for several seasons now," Dragons head of recruitment Ian Millward said.
"His experience and presence will be a welcome addition to our current forward pack."
Dragons Official Statement
Paul Vaughan at Dragons HQ Video: www.dragons.com.au
The St George Illawarra Dragons have announced that Paul Vaughan has agreed to terms on a three-year contract that will see him join the Club immediately until at least the end of 2019.
The Gungahlin Bulls junior, who can play throughout the forward-pack, had previously been under contract to the Canberra Raiders and has played 85 NRL games to date.
The three-time NSW Country Origin representative (2014-16) made his first-grade debut during the 2013 season before later representing the Italy Azzuri at the World Cup.
Paul Vaughan Photo: Getty Images
“I’m very happy to be joining the Dragons who have such a rich history and looking forward to starting the pre-season alongside my new teammates,” said Vaughan.
“The focus now is training hard over the coming months to establish myself within a very strong forward pack and playing my role within the squad.”
Dragons Recruitment of Rugby League Pathways Ian Millward has welcomed the addition of Vaughan to the forward pack ahead of new pre-season.
“Paul is a big-sized front-rower who has played representative rugby league for several seasons now,” said Dragons Director of Rugby League Pathways Ian Millward.
“His experience and presence will be a welcome addition to our current forward pack.”
Vaughan, 25, will commence training with the Dragons pre-season train-on squad in November.