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Game day guide: Round 23 v Roosters

The St George Illawarra Dragons will face the Sydney Roosters at Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba on Sunday, August 22 (2pm). This is your Round 23 game day guide.

Terrific Toowoomba 

It's not often the people of Toowoomba welcome rugby league to their doorstep, but lucky for them it's usually the Dragons who come knocking when it does.

In 2018, the Dragons took on the Gold Coast Titans at Clive Berghofer Stadium and put on a clinic for the locals winning 54-8 in a stampede. Matt Dufty bagged a treble of tries while Tariq Sims and Jack De Belin also took the field.  

Coincidentally both of St George Illawarra's founding clubs played matches in Toowoomba in the 1990s. St George and the Steelers played on the same day for the Lotto Challenge Cup in 1991, and both came away victorious.

Handy substitutes 

It's now or never for the Dragons with the club's finals hopes hanging by a thread.

A flurry of wins to finish the season could land the Dragons in the top eight but it needs to start with a victory over the Roosters on Sunday.

There are changes aplenty for the Red V as the team looks to address a five-game losing run.

Dufty returns at fullback forcing Jack Bird to the centres while talented rookie Talatau Amone gets his debut start in the halves.  

With Andrew McCullough (ankle) and Blake Lawrie (hand) injured, Josh McGuire will undertake hooking duties while Kaide Ellis moves into the starting side.

McGuire is no stranger to the No. 9 jersey. He has previously played two Test matches and two NRL matches at hooker.

Representing Samoa, McGuire was the starting hooker in their 2014 Four Nations matches against New Zealand and Australia.  

Regular Roosters 

After a narrow victory last week the Roosters have named a mostly unchanged line-up.

The Tricolours are bolstered by the return of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves while Isaac Liu lines up at lock in place of the suspended Victor Radley.

Former Dragon Drew Hutchison will start at five-eighth in the 45th meeting between the two clubs.

Captain Tariq 

Tariq has been a mainstay in the Dragons' line-up since 2016 and has plenty of representative honours to boot.

But on Sunday, Sims will captain the Dragons for the first time in his career.

Just weeks after notching his 200th NRL appearance, and off the back of an impressive campaign with the New South Wales Origin team, it's due reward for the fan favourite who can now add Red V captain to his resume.

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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