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St George Illawarra Dragons Assistant Coach Dean Young admits there are still spots up for grabs leading into the trial fixture against the New Zealand Warriors at Trafalgar Park, Nelson on Saturday.

Dragons Head Coach Paul McGregor has named a 26-man team for their third match of the pre-season which sees fullback Josh Dugan named in the squad after being rested in the Charity Shield fixture at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Saturday.

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Furthermore, co-captain Gareth Widdop (NRL World All-Stars) and Joel Thompson (NRL Indigenous All-Stars) have also both been named following their respective team commitments during the NRL All-Stars fixture at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Saturday.

The Dragons will hold a five-day team camp leading into the fixture in and around the South Island city and Young admits players certainly have everything to play for this week.

“Each pre-season we want to try and get away for a week to allow the boys the chance to bond and we are lucky enough to be spending a week over in Nelson,” said Young.

“Playing a strong Warriors side over there is going to be a good challenge and one that they are all looking forward to so hopefully it’s a good game that gets a good crowd.

“We have selected 26 players to take part in the camp but not all of them will play but because it is a camp we will be doing plenty of training over there.

“We want to reward some of the players there for a tough pre-season and from a selection process our side is certainly not picked yet.

“It’s going to be a shoot-out over the next couple of weeks with how people train and perform in our next trial.

“We need to improve in all areas, defensively we need to get better with work on the ground and from an attacking point of view a few blokes got lost in their role during the Charity Shield.

“The trials are here to identify and work these things out and that’s what they’re all about - for players to learn the new structures and make sure they have them nailed before the start of the new 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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