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St George Illawarra Dragons halves hopeful Gareth Widdop donned the Red V for the first trial match of the preseason during the victory over the Illawarra Cutters and Mudgee Dragons at WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Friday.

The England international made an impact early in the trial game but knows there is room for improvement in his game and on-field combinations.

The 24-year-old is excited for the possibility of representing the Red-and-Whites in the NRL Auckland Nines tournament but hopes whoever is fortunate enough to play in New Zealand do the Red V proud.

“The match was a little bit patchy in areas but it was good to finally get out there and play,” said Widdop.

“It was our first hit-out and I suppose it felt a little bit different putting on the Red-and-White but I’m really excited for a new chapter in my career at the Dragons and glad to be included in a side with great players.

“Sam Williams is obviously a great player and controls games very well, so hopefully in the next few weeks we can make those combinations stronger.

“It would be exciting to get the opportunity to play in the Nines; it’s a different concept and quite a bit different to what we’ve ever played before.

“It would be awesome to get the opportunity to travel to New Zealand and I hope the boys who are chosen by the Coach give it their all when they are there.”