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Leilua and Kerr given extra hit out as McGregor weighs options

Luciano Leilua and Josh Kerr backed up from last Thursday's clash with South Sydney by playing in the Canterbury Cup 48 hours later as Dragons coach Paul McGregor decides which forward will make way for Korbin Sims.

With Sims set to make his first Telstra Premiership appearance for St George Illawarra against Brisbane on Thursday night after serving a two-match suspension, either Leilua or Kerr are expected to miss out.

Kerr had 18 minutes of field time in his NRL debut in the 34-18 loss to Souths and admits he was overcome with nerves. Leilua played 25 minutes as a right-side second-rower.

The pair then played against the Rabbitohs on Saturday in the Canterbury Cup, with Leilua playing the full game at left second-row and Kerr succumbing to a hamstring problem after 40 minutes.

"I didn't get that much time on Thursday night so I was happy to back up," said Leilua, who scored a try and carried the ball for 154 metres from 16 runs in Saturday's 24-20 loss.

Get Caught Up: Round 2

Kerr said he was hopeful of getting another NRL opportunity against the Broncos after starting the season with selection for the Indigenous All Stars and then making his NRL debut last week.

"I had a lot of nerves going through me and the boys wanted me to bring energy but I probably did it the worst way possible by giving away a penalty," Kerr said.

I think a bit of nerves and a bit of stress got to me but I loved it

Josh Kerr on his NRL debut

"After I came out in the second half I felt a lot more relaxed and comfortable. I know what to do, I do it at training all the time but the first 10 minutes or so was a bit stressful.

"I just had people screaming and I was out there thinking 'what do I do.' I could have ruined it in my own head.

"It's nervousness and being a bit scared but it is a fear I have always wanted. I just thought I had to go out there and make a big impact and I did that, but probably not in the best way.

"I think a bit of nerves and a bit of stress got to me but I loved it and I have taken away a lot of confidence from the experience."

After dominating the match against Souths, St George Illawarra lost their way just before halftime and conceded three quick tries after the interval when McGregor had Paul Vaughan and James Graham on the bench.

Every try from Round 2

With Tyson Frizell able to do some running on Monday but not expected to play for at least another week after surgery for a ruptured testicle and Jack de Belin sidelined indefinitely under the NRL's "no-fault stand down" policy while he defends a sexual assault charge, McGregor will welcome Korbin Sims into the team.

After being suspended for a dangerous tackle during Brisbane's elimination finals loss to St George Illawarra, Sims will make his first premiership appearance for the Dragons against his former club.

"I'm just more excited not so much to play against the Broncos but to get back to playing footy in general," Sims said.

"I'm still young but obviously I have got experience behind me and that helps. I know when I first came into first the older guys helped me a lot so it will be good for them."

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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