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Ahead of our must-win clash against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday night, here are five things to looks out for.

Remember the name

From the St George Dragons' SG Ball team to the NRL development player squad in less than a year, Jason Saab continues his meteoric rise in rugby league and will make his NRL debut for the Dragons.

At just 18-years-old and standing at 195cm tall, the talented winger has played for the NSW Under-18s and Australian Schoolboys in the past. But it has been his standout performances in the Canterbury Cup this season which jolted his name into contention.

Since scoring two tries on debut in Round 7, Saab has gone on to collect six tries, eight line-breaks, two try assists, 19 tackle breaks and averaged 151 running metres in his eight appearances.

Saab's debut in the NRL is definitely something to keep a close eye on.

Gareth's inspirational return

Dragons captain Gareth Widdop returns to the side after making a swift recovery from shoulder surgery.

Widdop injured his shoulder in the Round 3 victory against the Brisbane Broncos this year. The 30-year-old initially wasn't expected back until the final rounds of the season, but worked harder than ever on the sideline to fast track his recovery.

Dragons Head of Athletic Performance Nathan Pickworth told that Widdop's upper body strength and fitness has actually increased compared to the start of the season.

This highlighting his determination to wear the Red V once more before leaving for the Super League.

Widdop’s return to the side also pushes Corey Norman to fullback while Darren Nicholls falls out of the team.

Now or never

Seven rounds remain before the top eight is decided and the 2019 finals get underway.

Such is the competitiveness of this season; the Dragons are currently only two wins outside the top eight but also two wins off the bottom of the ladder. It’s possible for the Dragons to storm home and ride a wave of momentum into the finals, but it has to start against the Rabbitohs.

Dragons support beanies for brain cancer round

Points galore

The Rabbitohs have claimed the better record over the Dragons in recent years with five wins from the last seven encounters, but the Dragons have scored more points against South Sydney than any other team.

The most points St George Illawarra have ever scored in a single match was against the Rabbitohs in 2002 when the Dragons scored 11 tries and won 58-16.  While overall since 1999, the Dragons have scored 1,026 points against the Rabbitohs, with the next closest being the Newcastle Knights with 901.

With a revamped back-line and a star playmaker back, keep in mind the Dragons' point-scoring record against the Bunnies.

Last time we were there

You only need to cast your mind back to Round 13 to find when the Dragons last graced the field of ANZ Stadium.

The Dragons trounced the Bulldogs 36-12 in a confident display featuring a Ben Hunt masterclass. Hunt finished off a brilliant team try and also threw two line-break assists and one try assist in the victory.

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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