Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop might be the NRL's most dynamic halves pairing

NEW RECRUIT: Ben Hunt joined the Red V on a six million dollar deal after 2017 and all eyes will be on the former Brisbane Bronco this season. Photo: John Veage
NEW RECRUIT: Ben Hunt joined the Red V on a six million dollar deal after 2017 and all eyes will be on the former Brisbane Bronco this season. Photo: John Veage

Not since the days of Matthew Head and Ben Hornby have the Dragons had a halfback they can lean on.

It’s been the Josh McCrone show in the last couple of seasons and although the current Toronto Wolfpack playmaker gave the Red V a spark here and there, he didn’t bring the level of consistency you need from a first grade leader.

Will Ben Hunt be able to provide that level of leadership? Only time will tell.

Some will say a number seven is only as good as the five eighth next to him and in the case of Ben Hunt, he’s walking into an ideal situation with English international Gareth Widdop set to wear the number six jersey all season.

Widdop has gone from a 20-year-old, Craig Bellamy apprentice in 2010 to an irreplaceable part of St George Illawarra’s roster today.

His partnership with Ben Hunt not only shapes as one of the best halves pairings in the league, but could give the Dragons the boost they need to play finals footy.

Where can you see this dynamic duo live in the flesh? Glen Willow Sporting Complex on February 24.

The Charity Shield is known for its high-paced and passionate encounters and both the Dragons and the Bunnies always seem to throw their strongest sides onto the paddock so you can bank on seeing the Hunt-Widdop combo run around.

Productive halfbacks like Hunt don’t grow on trees and club legend Shaun Timmins thinks the signing will work wonders for his beloved franchise.

“Ben’s a quality player having played for Queensland and Australia,” he said.

“He’ll come to the Dragons as a genuine number seven which is probably something we haven’t had for a while.

“It’s quite exciting and we’ll be looking for him to go to that next level with his game.”

The Dragons 2017 campaign was reviewed as a disappointing one considering the late-season plummet, but Timmins hasn’t forgotten the unanimous doubt hurled at the club by the NRL cognoscenti in the lead up to the season.

“Last year we were written off before the season even started and then we came out of the blocks really well,” he said.

“We were sitting at the top of the ladder half way through the season so it was disappointing to miss out on the finals.

“I’m sure the team will be working on their consistency but hopefully now with the quality they’ve brought in it’s going to help them at the end of the season.”

Don’t think for a second the Dragons have forgotten about the devastating loss they experienced in round 22 against the Rabbitohs.

With revenge adding to a 35-year-old tradition, the 2018 Charity Shield might be the juiciest one yet.

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