The Illawarra Cutters draw for the 2017 Intrust Super Premiership season was released by the New South Wales Rugby League on Tuesday.
The Cutters will start the season with four home games, including two curtain raisers to the St George Illawarra Dragons’ NRL Round 1 and 2 fixtures.
The defending premiers will open their 2017 account against the Penrith Panthers at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Saturday March 4, with the game set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports.
The Cutters will have an additional three games broadcast on Fox Sports throughout the season: vs. Blacktown Workers (Round 6), Newcastle Knights (Round 16), and the Penrith Panthers (Round 20).
Newly appointed Cutters coach Mathew Head said he was pleased with how his team have conducted themselves throughout the pre-season and is looking forward to the challenge of working with them for the first time.
"The players involved in the pre-season so far are training hard which is pleasing to see. They are focused on trying to earn a spot in our Round 1 line-up," Head said.
"All I've coached in the past are the young fellas, so it’s a really exciting challenge for me to step up to this level and coach a good mix of experienced men as well as the youth we have within the club."
2017 Cutters Contracted Pre-Season Training Squad:
Adam Clune (Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles); Sam Clune (Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles); Kal Collins (Gerringong Lions); Jesse Dee (Warilla- Lake South Gorillas); Addison Demeterou; Ryan Fletcher (Arncliffe Scots); Nathan Ford (Gerringong Lions); Jay Gallagher; Matt Jurd (Shellharbour Sharks); Rhys Kennedy; Eric Newbigging; Jack Noble (Thirroul Butchers); Jack Payne (Corrimal Cougars); Blake Phillips (Helensburgh Tigers); Luke Sutton (Kiama Knights); Keelyn Tuuta-Edwards.