The St George Illawarra Dragons respective Junior Representative teams will all be in action in their first trial of the pre-season on Saturday, December 14.


In a first for all teams, the players will compete in a trial game pre-Christmas in the hope of impressing the coaching staff for a permanent spot in the respective St George and Illawarra SG Ball (Under 18s) and Harold Matthews (Under 16s) squads.


The earlier trial has allowed the Dragons and Steelers to trial a larger number of kids and provides them with an opportunity to test themselves against the best players in their local areas in the lead up to the 2014 season.


While other clubs in the two competitions are also expected to hold trial matches in the lead up to Christmas, the number of trials the teams will play in will not be reduced as a result of the change.


The St George Dragons respective SG Ball and Harold Matthews squads will hit the road to face the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Narrabeen Academy of Sport.


Both Dragons Head Coaches Mick Marton (SG Ball) and Graham Wynn (Harold Matthews) were united in their support of these pre-Christmas trials.


These trials will give the coaching staff the best insight weve had of where were at going into the Christmas break after six weeks of training, said Wynn.


Most of the players have really put in until now, but the best test of all is to watch them under match conditions.


Manly are traditionally well organized and competitive at a Junior Rep level, and these trials will allow the players an opportunity to press for selection in the final squads for 2014, to be announced after the Christmas break.


Concurrently, the Illawarra Steelers respective SG Ball and Harold Matthews squads will be visiting the southern highlands to confront the Canberra Raiders at Workers Arena, Goulburn.


Steelers SG Ball Head Coach Shane Millard remains open-minded about the first test for the players and will give equal opportunity to all the boys involved.


Im going to split the squad into two teams, evenly, theres no A or B team and look and see how they go, said Millward.


I think at 12.15 on a Saturday in Goulburn on a hot day, I think everybody will be tested. I dont have any expectation; I just want them to implement some of the stuff we are doing at training.


Harold Matthews Head Coach Ryan Powell echoed the remarks by his colleague and congratulated all the boys on being selected and wished them luck for the game on Saturday.