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The St George Illawarra Dragons will wear their ‘Close the Gap’ round jersey for their home fixture against the Penrith Panthers at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Sunday.

Dragons Head Coach Paul McGregor has named an extended 19-man squad for the final home game of the season at WIN Stadium which includes prop Dan Hunt (groin) making his return from injury.

The Dapto Canaries junior has been named on a six-man interchange and if selected will make his 150th first-grade appearance for the Club.

The Dragons ‘Close the Gap’ round jersey acknowledges the Dharawal nation, with its language understood from the southern banks of Botany Bay, west towards the Blue Mountains and Goulburn, and as far south as Bega.

It was designed by local aboriginal artist Kevin Butler and highlights a symbol of significance to the local indigenous community, the Flame Tree (Weery Wegne).

The Flame Tree was vital to the traditional owners of the land in coastal areas, integral in the supply of fish, through its soft spongy bark used to make string for nets and fishing lines, and a source of food due to its seeds.

‘Close the Gap’ is Australia’s largest ever campaign to improve the life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Dragons Community helps promote this message at a local level through supporting programs such as the Myimbarr Learning Centre in Wollongong and the Jervis Bay Primary School/Wreck Bay program.

The Dragons will host approximately 300 participants and families from both the aforementioned programs.

Furthermore, WIN Stadium Management have advised the Dragons that they will permit both Red V Members and supporters the opportunity to access the playing field after the fixture, weather permitting.

This is a unique opportunity to have a kick, pass a ball or take some photographs on field once a second siren has sounded, which will be approximately 10 minutes after the conclusion of play.

Entry to the field will be via gates located in the corners of the ground and managed by staff and security personnel.

1. Adam Quinlan
2. Brett Morris
3. Josh Dugan
4. Gerard Beale
5. Jason Nightingale
6. Gareth Widdop
7. Benji Marshall
8. Ben Creagh (c)
9. Mitch Rein
10. Mike Cooper
11. Leeson Ah Mau
12. Joel Thompson
13. Jack de Belin
14. Bronson Harrison
15. Trent Merrin
16. Will Matthews
17. Jack Stockwell
18. Shane Pumipi
19. Dan Hunt

Unavailable: Dylan Farrell (Pectoral Muscle-Season); Tyson Frizell (Ankle-Under Review); Charly Runciman (Thumb-Under Review); (Michael Witt (Knee-Season).

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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