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St George Illawarra Dragons centre Dane Nielsen is eager to take to the field wearing the famous Red V Jersey against the Mackay Cutters at Mackay Stadium on Saturday.

The Queensland Maroons representative joined the Dragons during the off-season and is eager to don the jersey of his childhood Club as well as represent the team in his home town.

The Norths Mackay Devils junior is part of a 21-man named squad to be coached by Assistant Coach Dean Young travelling to the regional centre for the opening pre-season fixture.

"It has been a long and hard pre-season but the end is nearly in sight," said Nielsen.

"The entire squad have been itching to play competitive games and for a lot of us that starts against the Mackay Cutters.

"There is a lot of competition for a spot in the centres this season so it will be up to me to give it my all on the weekend and hopefully be amongst the contenders.

"It will be great to take to the field in my home town and it is something I am really looking forward to.

"To also be able to play representing my childhood Club is something that can't be scripted and I cannot wait to get amongst it.

"The Cutters are a strong side who will challenge us across the park so it will be a good test for us.

"We hope to put into practice a lot of the attacking structures we have been working on over the pre-season into action and I will be playing my role in that."

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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