St George Illawarra Dragons captain Ben Creagh will lead the team out in his first appearance for the year in the 31st Charity Shield against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Saturday, the first time the event has been held out of Sydney.

The Dragons skipper is part of a 19-man squad named by Head Coach Steve Price for the final pre-season fixture along with Prop Dan Hunt who will also be making his first appearance for the Dragons in 2014.

Hunt, 27, has spent much of the pre-season in rehabilitation recovering from off-season surgery but is excited to be fit for the annual clash.

“I always look forward to the Charity Shield each year but given it will be my first game with the new squad I am even more excited," said Hunt.

"It is fantastic that the game is in Wollongong, our Members and fans will love the opportunity to see this quality game so hopefully we can pack WIN Stadium out and ensure a great atmosphere.

"This match is always played with great intensity, it is like a Premiership game, Souths have an outstanding squad and everyone in our squad knows that it is the last opportunity to put your hand-up for selection in Round 1 and I can't wait to rip in on Saturday night."

The Charity Shield began in 1982 and so too did the tradition of supporting local charities and causes. In 2014 proceeds from the Charity Shield will support three charities from within the Dragons Community program – The St.George Foundation, St George and Wollongong Public Hospitals.

Dragons Community was first established in 2008 and aims to have a positive impact on people’s lives within our community, which stretches from Kogarah in the north to Batemans Bay in the south.

Dragons Community currently runs more than 32 different programs across its eight pillars:
Health
Education
Cultural
Environment
Women & Girls
Mentoring
Charity
Grassroots Rugby League

The St.George Foundation was founded in 1990 by St.George Bank, also the major partner of the St George Illawarra Dragons.

Over the past 24 years the Foundation has raised more than $20 million to support physically, socially and economically disadvantaged kids across Australia.

NRL Team Line-Up

1. Josh Dugan
2. Brett Morris
3. Gerard Beale
4. Dylan Farrell
5. Jason Nightingale
6. Gareth Widdop
7. Sam Williams
8. Jack de Belin
9. Mitch Rein
10. Ben Creagh (c)
11. Joel Thompson
12. Leeson Ah Mau
13. Trent Merrin
14. Kyle Stanley
15. Jack Stockwell
16. Mike Cooper
17. Bronson Harrison
18. Tyson Frizell
19. Dan Hunt

Results

In 30 Charity Shield fixtures contested since 1982, the Dragons have recorded 16 wins, 10 loses and drawn on four occasions.

Ticketing Information

Tickets for the 2014 Charity Shield are now on sale to the general public through Ticketek.

For further information or to purchase tickets please click here.

Community Visits

Dragons players Gerard Beale, Kyle Stanley and Yaw Kiti Glymin will visit the St George Hospital visiting sick children and those in need on Tuesday, February 18 and will subsequently visit Wollongong Hospital in the upcoming weeks.

Additionally, Dragons captain Ben Creagh and Brett Morris “turned the first soil” in the development of ‘Luke’s Place’ – an inclusive playspace for children in the Illawarra on Friday, February 7.

The establishment of this playground was made possible by several generous contributions including a $25,000 grant from St George Foundation, one of the Dragons official charity partners, to the Touched by Olivia Foundation who have built a similar playspace for children in North Rocks, Sydney.

Jersey Auction

The Club will auction off their player-worn jerseys on the night with all proceeds going directly to both hospitals.

The auction will commence directly after the final whistle on Saturday, February 22 (7.00pm) and close on Thursday, February 27 (9.00pm).

Click here to March With Us in 2014!