The St George Illawarra Dragons will compete to defend the Monty Porter Cup when they host rivals the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the local derby at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Sunday.
Dragons Head Coach Paul McGregor has named an 18-man squad for the fan-favourite fixture which returns to Jubilee Oval, Kogarah for the first time since 2011.
NSW Blues representative duo Josh Dugan and Trent Merrin have both included pending assessment following their State of Origin commitments on Wednesday while utility Jake Marketo has been named on an extended interchange bench.
“The local derby is always a favourite match on the calendar each year for both the Dragons and the Sharks as well as the supporters of both clubs,” said McGregor.
“There is always great intensity in these local derbies and having had the break last round due to the bye, the players will be ready to go and they will enjoy the occasion as well as playing in front of the big home crowd support at Jubilee Oval on Sunday afternoon”.
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The Monty Porter Cup is contested each time the Clubs meet and pays tribute to the achievements of a player with strong associations to both Clubs.
Porter was a second-rower who played 113 first-grade games for the Red V during his eight seasons with the Dragons (1958-65), winning six Premierships during that time (1958-60; 1962-64).
The second-rower left the Dragons in 1965 and went on to become the inaugural captain of the Sharks upon their inclusion into the NSWRL in 1967.
The Dragons presently hold the trophy following their 30-0 win over their local rivals at WIN Stadium, Wollongong in round 13 last season.
The Dragons are encouraging all Members and fans to wear “Red” for a Red V Red Out at Jubilee Oval on Sunday and will have “Get Red-y” stations equipped with face painting, airbrush tattoo artists and merchandise to assist our fans to get “Red-y” with prizes on offer for the best dressed.
The Dragons will also be holding a special Community Open Day at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah this Thursday where Red V Members and supporters alike are invited to watch the Dragons train at Kogarah between 5.00pm -7.00pm ahead of clash against the Sharks on Sunday.
There is a free sausage sizzle and activities for the kids as well as the opportunity for autographs and photos with the players on the field post training.