Wednesday 13 February 2013 2:00 PM
St George Illawarra Dragons fullback Gerard Beale is counting down the days until he dons the famous Red V jersey for the first time against the North Queensland Cowboys at Barlow Park, Cairns on Saturday.
The New Zealand international is part of a 25-man squad who have travelled to the far north Queensland city for a week-long camp ahead of the opening trial fixture.
The Red-and-Whites have been training daily to help condition themselves for the warmer climate whilst also honing in their ball skills ahead of the fixture.
“I’m pretty excited it being the first game for the Dragons and it’s a good chance for us all to start coming together on the field as a team,” said Beale.
“Cairns is a nice place and I know all the boys are happy to be training in the warmer conditions that we’ve all been adapting to this week.
“It’s been a long pre-season but now it’s time for game time and I just can’t wait to get out there and play.
“Getting out and being involved with the kids in the Cairns community is also something that we’ve all definitely enjoyed.
“It’s a strong rugby league area and all the kids have taken on board the message of not bullying others.”