"We’ve got Pricey’s back all the way" ... Dan Hunt on Dragons coach Steve Price, pictured. Photo: Adam McLean
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA prop Dan Hunt has thrown his support behind coach Steve Price, saying the embattled mentor had the approval of the team.
Following Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy's decision to reject the Dragons, Hunt, who won a 2005 Jersey Flegg premiership under Price, said the coach should be the club's long-term option.
''I've got a great relationship with him and he knows how to get the best out of me,'' Hunt said.
''I'd love him to stay as our coach. I don't think there is a decision to be made. Pricey is our coach for 2013 and we'll deal with whatever comes in the future.''
The Dragons' four-month pursuit of the premiership-winning coach ended when Bellamy committed to the Storm until at least the end of 2016 on Monday.
Although St George Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust said he would work through potential coaching options, Hunt insisted the innuendo had not been a distraction.
''We've got Pricey's back all the way,'' Hunt said.
''We weren't too worried about the Bellamy stuff; we don't really buy into that type of stuff.
''We've got our ranks pretty closed and we're buying into what Pricey is coaching and we believe in him. I think it's disrespectful to Pricey to talk about it; he is a really good coach.''
A slight calf strain has kept Hunt, 26, in Wollongong as most of his teammates prepare for their first hit-out of the season against North Queensland in Cairns on Saturday.
Hunt, fellow prop Michael Weyman (knee) and the overlooked centre Nathan Green are among the top players not travelling with the squad. He expects to play in next Friday's annual Charity Shield clash against South Sydney.