NSW Origin Representative Ben Hornby has been chosen to lead the St George Illawarra Dragons in the 22nd Charity Shield against South Sydney at Aussie Stadium this Saturday night.
Hornby, will captain the Dragons the day after his 25th birthday in the absence of regular captain Trent Barrett who is being rested from the clash.
The hard-working full-back who captained the Club in the opening two rounds of last season has led the way in pre-season training and is excited at the prospect of leading the team in their first match for the year.
�Even though it is just a trial game, it is a real honour to be given the captaincy,� said Hornby. �Everyone is really looking forward to playing and hopefully I can lead the way and we will come away with a win.�
With the unavailability of a number of regular first grade players, a number of new recruits and young hopefuls have been given the opportunity to play at the top level.
Brett Kelly (21), Lee Te Maari(19) and former Rabbitoh Willie Manu (24) will make their debut for the Dragons while Daniel Holdsworth (20), Aaron Gorrell (23), Clint Greenshields (23), Corey Payne (20) and Wade Humphries(23) have also been given the opportunity to press for further selection throughout the season.
�While you don�t like to have your experienced players sidelined with injury, it affords some of the newer and younger guys the opportunity to play and I am looking forward to seeing how they perform,� said Head Coach Nathan Brown.
In the 21 Charity Shields contested so far the balance is with St George (Illawarra) � 13 wins, one draw and five losses.
The Dragons second and final NRL trial match is against Manly at Albion Park on Saturday, February 26.
NRL Coach: Nathan Brown
1. Ben HORNBY (c) 2. Colin BEST 3. Brett KELLY 4. Matt COOPER 5. Nick YOUNGQUEST 6. Daniel HOLDSWORTH 7. Mathew HEAD 8. Luke BAILEY 9. Aaron GORRELL 10. Justin POORE 11. Dean YOUNG 12. Lance THOMPSON 13. Shaun TIMMINS
14. Ashton SIMS 15. Bryan NORRIE 16. Willie MANU 17. Corey PAYNE 18. Lee TE MAARI 19. Wade HUMPHREYS 20. Clint GREENSHIELDS Charity Shield Program � Saturday, February 19
4pm Gates open
4.15pm Jersey Flegg (under 19) � Dragons v Rabbitohs
6pm Premier League � Dragons v Rabbitohs
7.30pm FOX telecast preview program
8pm FOX live broadcast, NRL trial, Dragons v Rabbitohs
Premier League Coach: Michael Potter 1. Brett MORRIS 2. James BANNISTER 3. Daryl MILLARD 4. Luke ROBERTS 5. Josh MORRIS 6. Luke DALZIEL-DON 7. Josh LEWIS 8. Jamie DUNNING 9. Jamie KEITH 10. Corey MAHER 11. Willie TUPOU 12. Adam CAWLEY 13. Ryan POWELL 14. Charlie LEANEO 15. Tom HABERECHT 16. Edwin ASOTASI 17. Jason KLIMIS