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Match Preview: Pre-season Challenge vs Dragons

Wests Tigers will have their final pre-season hit out on Saturday against St George Illawarra Dragons in Mudgee, three weeks before the team’s first game in the Telstra Premiership.

Benji Marshall has named a 26-man squad, with what looks to be very close to the side he may choose for the Round 2 match against the Raiders on the 16th March in Canberra.

The team is very closely matched to that which started last weekend’s match against the Warriors in Christchurch, with the same spine and the same starting pack.

First appearance: Justin Olam
First appearance: Justin Olam

It has a new centre pairing with Justin Olam and Starford To’a playing their first games of the pre-season, Olam his first appearance for his new club. 

Lachlan Galvin: Recovered from calf strain
Lachlan Galvin: Recovered from calf strain

Other than that, there are a couple of changes on the bench.  Alex Twal will play his first match of the pre-season after being rested against the Warriors, as will 18-year-old utility Lachlan Galvin who has recovered from a calf strain.

It should be a great contest in the halves with two senior playmakers calling the shots in Aidan Sezer and Ben Hunt.

Both teams feature new faces in their #6 jerseys, in the shape of Jayden Sullivan and Kyle Flanagan.  For Sullivan it will be his first game against his former club.

Bud Sullivan: Strong first outing for Wests Tigers last weekend
Bud Sullivan: Strong first outing for Wests Tigers last weekend

The Dragons are coming off a 28-6 Charity Shield defeat at the hands of the Rabbitohs last weekend.

The Red V have featured in eight clashes at Glen Willow Oval since the start of 2018, while this will be a first trip to the picturesque country town for Wests Tigers.

Key Timings:

Gates Open: 5.00pm

NSW Cup trial (5:30pm): St George Illawarra Dragons vs Wests Magpies

Pre-season Challenge (8:05pm): St George Illawarra Dragons vs Wests Tigers

Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers 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 Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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