Samoa rugby league coach Steve Price will coach the NRL premiers St George Illawarra in 2012 after current mentor Wayne Bennett confirmed he will depart the club at the end of the season.
The 33 year old has been an assistant coach to Bennett for the past two seasons and coached Samoa in Test matches against New Zealand and Tonga last year.
The Dragons chief executive Peter Doust admits the club tried all it could to retain Bennett beyond this year but the 61 year old felt he had completed his job at the club, having delivering the Dragons a long-awaited premiership.
Steve Price says he's always had aspirations to be an NRL coach and he's very grateful and honoured to be given the opportunity.
"I couldn't ask for a better apprenticeship under one of the most - go down as one of the best coaches in rugby league ever. I've really enjoyed it - I've grown as a person outside of football I feel also - especially my family life. I can't give a big enough rap to the guy."