The St George Illawarra Dragons on Friday announced five pre-season fixtures across two states and countries in the lead-up to the 2016 NRL Premiership season.

The Dragons first hit-out of the pre-season will be the third annual NRL Auckland Nines tournament which will take place at Eden Park, Auckland across Saturday, February 6 and Sunday, February 7.

The nine-man-per-side tournament will be competed over two days with all 16 NRL teams involved competing for a prize pool valued at over $2 million.

“The NRL Auckland Nines tournament is an exciting competition which will allow the players to test themselves in a fast-tempo environment,” said Dragons Head Coach Paul McGregor.

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Additionally, those Dragons players not involved in the nine-man-per-side tournament will compete against Wynnum-Manly Seagulls at Pinklands Oval, Redlands also on Saturday, February 6.

The fixture against the Queensland Cup opposition will provide those players not named in the NRL Auckland Nines squad the opportunity to test themselves alongside a selection of Illawarra Cutters players in a competitive environment.

“The upcoming trial against the Wynnum-Manly Seagulls will provide an opportunity for those players not named in the NRL Auckland Nines squad an outing to compete in a physical encounter against a team who will no doubt want to test themselves against NRL opposition,” said McGregor.

The Dragons will then compete in the traditional Charity Shield match against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, to be held at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Saturday, February 13.

“The Charity Shield is a match steeped in rich history and traditions and is always an important part of our pre-season preparations,” said McGregor.

“This trial will serve as our first outing as a combined squad following the players’ commitments in both Auckland and Queensland and prove a good indicator of the team are progressing.”

Red V Members will be able to purchase tickets for this fixture during an exclusive Member pre-sale period which will be communicated at a later date.

Please note that the following Red V Member packages include entry to the Charity Shield: Platinum, All In, Dragons Dozen, Metro Plus, Kogarah Upgrade, Wollongong Upgrade and West Wing.

Players not involved in the 33rd Charity Shield fixture will join representatives of the Illawarra Cutters for a match against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday, February 14.

A select group of Dragons players will then again head across the Tasman to play against the New Zealand Warriors at Trafalgar Park, Nelson on Saturday, February 20.

This trial fixture will mark the first time the Dragons have competed in the South Island city and will also enable the squad to hold a ‘camp’ ahead of the match.

“The squad will be based in Nelson for the entire week and it will be a good way of rounding off what will be a tough pre-season preparation,” said McGregor.

“The time together will allow all the players to really get to know and learn about one another which is important for a team.”

Red V Members are able to purchase tickets to the fixture by clicking here!

Those players not selected to travel to New Zealand will join selected Illawarra Cutters players for a match against the Wyong Roos at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Saturday, February 20.

Furthermore, a final trial fixture against the Central Queensland Capras has been confirmed for Browne Park, Rockhampton on Saturday, February 27.

This fixture will again be a joint-match involving Illawarra Cutters players as well as those Dragons players returning from injury or who are requiring additional minutes ahead of the season proper.

“We will be evaluating which players, whether through injury or other circumstances, may need further minutes under their belt ahead of the new season and determine who travels north closer to the date,” said McGregor.

“We have several players including Josh Dugan, Benji Marshall and Will Matthews all coming back from respective injuries around that time which is why this trial could be important for their individual preparations.”

The Dragons will provide further information regarding all their pre-season trial fixtures to Red V Members once ticketing details are confirmed.

 

Dragons 2016 Pre-Season Fixtures:

NRL

Saturday, February 6 - Sunday, February 7
Fixture:
At Least 3 x Group Games (Opposition TBC)
Location: Eden Park, Auckland
Ticketing Information: Tickets are now on sale to Red V Members and the general public through Ticket (NZ). Click here for more information regarding ticketing.

Saturday, February 6
Fixture:
Trial v Wynnum-Manly Seagulls
Location: Pinklands Oval, Redlands
Ticketing Information: Ticketing information has yet to be confirmed. Red V Members will be emailed with ticketing details once confirmed.

Saturday, February 13
Fixture:
Charity Shield v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Location: ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park
Ticketing Information: Ticketing information has yet to be confirmed. Red V Members will be emailed with ticketing details once confirmed. The following Red V Member packages include entry to the Charity Shield: Platinum, All In, Dragons Dozen, Metro Plus, Kogarah Upgrade, Wollongong Upgrade and West Wing.

Saturday, February 20
Fixture:
Trial v New Zealand Warriors
Location: Trafalgar Park, Nelson
Ticketing Information: Tickets are now on sale to Red V Members and the general public through Ticket (NZ). Click here for more information regarding ticketing.

Saturday, February 27
Fixture:
Trial v Central Queensland Capras
Location: Browne Park, Rockhampton
Ticketing Information: Ticketing information has yet to be confirmed. Red V Members will be emailed with ticketing details once confirmed.

NYC

Saturday, February 6
Fixture:
Trial v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Location: Jubilee Oval, Kogarah

Saturday, February 13
Fixture:
Trial v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Location: ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park

Saturday, February 20
Fixture:
Sydney Roosters
Location: WIN Stadium, Wollongong

Illawarra Cutters

Saturday, February 13
Fixture:
Trial v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Location: Belmore Sports Ground

Saturday, February 20
Fixture:
Wyong Roos
Location: WIN Stadium, Wollongong

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Click Here To Read About The Dragons Officially Commencing Pre-Season Training!