A FRUSTRATED Jamie Soward has hit out at claims he is feigning a back injury and defended his relationship with coach Steve Price.
In a revealing interview, Soward took aim at those questioning his commitment to the club after missing the past two matches with back spasms.
‘‘I’ve had days where I’ve struggled to get out of bed,’’ Soward said.
‘‘I’m not that kind of bloke to fake it and the club’s not going to sink that low.
‘‘If there’s not a problem there then they’d just say he’s been dropped for poor form.
‘‘I’d like to think that I’m not at the stage of my career where I have to fake injury to be out of team.
‘‘If I’m not good enough to be in the team then I won’t be.’’
Soward ran earlier in this week and is a chance to make an early return against his former club Sydney Roosters tomorrow night.
He will run today and if unhampered Soward will await for Price’s call.
‘‘I’d like to think [I’m a chance to play],’’ Soward said.
‘‘It’s going to be up to me with my back and the coach obviously.’’
Soward, who described his pre-injury form as ‘‘pretty good’’, missed the Dragons last-start win against Melbourne with Nathan Fien excelling at five-eighth.
While Price may not have guaranteed Soward’s spot in the team, the former NSW five-eighth denied the pair had fallen out.
‘‘That’s rubbish, absolute rubbish,’’ Soward said.
‘‘Everyone that’s been close around the team know me and Pricey have a great working relationship and we understand each other.
‘‘All that stuff comes out and puts pressure on myself and the team.
‘‘We don’t need that.’’
He ended further speculation he would join Wigan Warriors or a French rugby union club at season’s end reaffirming his commitment to the club until at least the end of next year.
‘‘I’ll definitely be here next year,’’ Soward said.
‘‘My manager is paid to explore options.
‘‘It’s up to my manager and for me to sit down and see what options there are.
‘‘St George are going to come with an option, we’re definitely going to listen to that and hopefully comes to terms with that.’’
Soward, on his day off yesterday spoke with students at Corpus Christi Catholic High School, Oak Flats to promote the NRL’s annual Close The Gap round this weekend.
‘‘I think sometimes young kids try and go that sport route a little bit too early,’’ Soward said.
‘‘Education should be first.’’
The Dragons will wear an indigenous-inspired Red-V jersey at their next home clash against North Queensland in round 24.
Soward, who played in last year’s Indigenous All Stars, said he looked up to former Manly star Cliff Lyons.
‘‘I do [consider myself to be a role-model],’’ Soward said.
‘‘Probably not the best one at times but I try and do my best and get the message of trying your hardest at school and in life is going to get you through.’’