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St George Illawarra Dragons halfback Sam Williams is eager to begin the season and sees the upcoming trials as a way to showcase and refine his skills.

Williams, 22, joined teammates to promote the NRL’s powerful “Tackle Bullying” campaign to schools across the Kiama and Shellharbour areas last week.

The NSW Country State of Origin representative is enthusiastic about spreading the anti-bullying message and is enjoying engaging with students and assisting them in their education about bullying.

“There are 14 of us heading out into the Kiama and Shellharbour region coming together with the schools in the area to talk about tackling bullying,” said Williams.

“We’ve been sharing some of our own stories from when we were young and what we have experienced with bullying,” said Williams.

“Last year we spoke of different aspects of bullying, so this year we are focusing on getting out there and showing a different side to bullying.

“We’re here to let the kids understand that we’re all bullied at some stage and the best way to go about handling it is to try and make sure that bullying isn’t a problem in schools.

“This has been really good for us, bullying can get us down at times also so it gives us a chance to speak out about our experiences and we encourage the kids to talk out about it too; I guess it helps us and helps the kids.

“It’s certainly a nice break from preseason and easier than running hills and running up sand dunes but it’s always great to get out into the schools and be a part of the community and connect with the kids.

“Preseason has been good, it’s obviously a bit different from the few I had down in Canberra with a different setup and different coaching structures, the Dragons certainly have different areas and aspects that we want to work on.

“It’s hard to enjoy preseason, as much as you try but it has been a really good change for me and I have actually enjoyed it.

“I’m definitely keen to get out there on the field, I think all the players at this time of the year are eager to get into trials and make sure all the things we’ve been working on in the past few months come together and I’m excited to be a part of it.

“The Nines is a great concept and something that has generated a lot of interest; in the last few years we’ve had trials in country areas which has been great, but to combine the flamboyance of the Nines with the visits to the country regions will pull our preseason together.

“I’m definitely hoping to be selected to play in the Nines, it would be good fun over there; I think they’ve sold around 90,000 tickets so it looks like it’s going to be a great weekend in Auckland and it would be great to be a part of it.

“I guess we’ll find out who is playing what over the next week or so and we’ll find out what we are doing.

“At the moment I’m more focused on the Charity Shield match coming up and I’d love to get a fair few minutes in that game and try to put my best foot forward to be a part of the Round 1 team.

“I’ve always watched the Charity Shield from a young age and I’d love to finally be a part of it.”

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