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Fire burning within home-town Dragon


Mackay Trial News

ST GEORGE Illawarra Dragons player Dane Nielsen will head home for his NRL club's game against the Mackay Cutters on January 31.

State of Origin player Trent Merrin and fan-favourite George Rose are two other big names taking part in the pre-season hit-out.

Nielsen, who crossed from the NZ Warriors in the off-season, said it was exciting to be heading to Mackay for the clash.

"Just to put the jersey on alone will be pretty exciting. To add to that excitement it's (the game) up in Mackay where I've been born and bred," he said. "We'll have a lot of support up there."

Nielsen said the match was a great opportunity to play in front of family and friends.

Dane's father, Steve Nielsen, said it would be great to see his son playing in Mackay. "It's always nice to see him when he comes home for a visit, but especially when there's a game of footy," he said.

Steve Nielsen said the last time he had seen his son play in Mackay was in 2012 when Dane was playing for the Melbourne Storm.

Dragons assistant coach Dean Young will take the reins for the match.

"We have opted to include a lot of our first-grade forwards in the trial to help get the combinations going within the pack and they will come up against a strong team in the Mackay Cutters," he said.

"The Cutters have got some really good players in their squad from all reports, but I'm not too focused on that, I'm focused on what our boys are going to be doing."

Cutters coach Kim Williams said his club had selected the strongest possible squad available.

"We are honoured to host the Dragons in Mackay and we are very keen to show our fans that we are in for a big year, starting with this game against the NRL powerhouse," he said.


Date: Saturday, January 31.
Venue: Mackay Stadium, Mackay.
Tickets: www.mackayecc.com.au.


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