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Game day guide: Round 20 v Rabbitohs

The St George Illawarra Dragons will face the South Sydney Rabbitohs at the rescheduled time of 6:25pm on Sunday, August 1 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

Whirlwind weekend for NRL

The Queensland government announced a snap three-day lockdown on Saturday morning which had massive and instant implications for the NRL.

All three games slated for Saturday were promptly postponed, including the Dragons' highly-anticipated clash in Rockhampton.

The Dragons were caught in limbo at their Brisbane accommodation before news was confirmed that the game scheduled for Browne Park wouldn't take place.

The Rabbitohs weren't so lucky and only discovered news of the fixture's postponement upon touching down in Rockhampton, where they soon departed back to their temporary homestead on the Gold Coast.

Uncertainty reigned for several hours before news came through at 10pm on Saturday night that Round 20 would proceed, albeit 24 hours later.

With the Dragons' top eight fortunes a week-to-week prospect at this late stage of the season, an extra day of preparation won't hurt the Red V.

Tariq 200

From a skinny kid roaming the streets of Gerringong to becoming one of the premier forwards in the NRL – Tariq Sims's journey to 200 first grade games has been a tale of hard work and dedication.

Sims broke into the Under-20s system as a winger but was told to bulk up for a move into the forwards.

Sims took the feedback in his stride and eventually made his NRL debut for the North Queensland Cowboys as a back-rower in 2011.  

A short stint with the Newcastle Knights followed before Sims joined the Dragons midway through the 2016 season. 101 appearances later for the Red V and Taz will deservedly become an NRL double-centurion on Saturday.  

Future is now

Four members of the 2019 premiership-winning SG Ball Illawarra Steelers will line-up together for the first time in first grade this weekend.

Five-eighth Jayden Sullivan, winger Mat Feagai, fullback Tyrell Sloan and halfback-cum-centre Talatau Amone will feature against the Rabbitohs.

The quartet's inclusion will provide Red V members, partners and fans a glimpse into the future granted also that other members from that Steelers team such as Max Feagai, Jackson Shereb and Josh Coric remain contracted to the Dragons long-term.

Matt Dufty, Cody Ramsey and Jordan Pereira have been left out of the Dragons' immediate 17 to allow for this Under-18s reunion.

Question marks over Rabbitohs

Cameron Murray (suspension) is definitely out as is Alex Johnston (hamstring) but question marks remain over whether key Rabbitohs duo Adam Reynolds (hamstring) and Cody Walker (knee) will line up on Saturday.

Reynolds failed to finish his side's demolition job of the Warriors last Saturday while Walker persevered despite being quite clearly hurt.

Souths have been boosted by the return of Campbell Graham (concussion) however, who will line up against inexperienced centres in Corey Norman and Talatau Amone.

Rockhampton on debut

Rockhampton's Browne Park will host an NRL game for the first time in the ground's and town's history.

As one of the oldest cities in Queensland and one that boasts a proud rugby league history, the 'Beef City' is bracing to welcome the NRL to the venue it claims to be the home of rugby league in Central Queensland since the 1890s.

It doesn't get any closer to home for Dragons captain Ben Hunt and coach Anthony Griffin. Both Hunt and Griffin were born in Rockhampton and have plied their rugby league trade in their formative years at Browne Park.

Thank you, Jamayne

Blake Lawrie, Jack de Belin, Josh McGuire and Jack Bird are all notable absentees from the Dragons' line-up this week – as they serve their one-game suspension for their role in the Shellharbour incident from early July – but so too is Jamayne Taunoa-Brown.

The two-time Indigenous All Stars representative has in fact been named to start for the Warriors, the club recalling their loan of Taunoa-Brown in response to the club's mounting injury toll as well as the departures of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Leeson Ah Mau.

St George Illawarra player No. 249 enjoyed a fortnight stint at the Red V where he averaged a modest 16 tackles and 45 metres in limited time from the interchange.

We thank Jamayne for his time at the Dragons – which will officially come to an end later in the week upon the completion of the club's Queensland Health-enforced quarantine period.