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Mudgee again plays host to the Rabbitohs and Dragons on Saturday night with a sell-out crowd expected for the annual Charity Shield clash.

The Rabbitohs took the spoils 36-24 to retain the shield in the fixture last year with a 36-24 victory to secure their fifth consecutive triumph over the Dragons in the pre-season match. 

St George Illawarra are coming off a strong 38-12 victory over Newcastle in their first trial of 2020 and will look to continue building on their combinations leading into round one.

South Sydney fielded mainly a reserve grade squad in their first hit-out against the Eels last week but still managed to grind out a 28-24 win. 

The Rundown

Team news

Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell, 2. Dane Gagai, 3. James Roberts, 4. Braidon Burns, 5. Campbell Graham, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Adam Reynolds (c), 8. Junior Tatola, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Thomas Burgess, 11. Jaydn Su'A, 12. Cameron Murray, 13. Liam Knight. Interchange: 14. Patrick Mago,15. Hame Sele, 16. Alex Johnston, 17. Keaon Koloamatangi, 18. Bryson Goodwin, 19. Corey Allan, 20. Bayley Sironen, 21. Troy Dargan, 22. Blake Taaffe, 23. Jack Johns, 24. Tom Amone

Cody Walker, Liam Knight and Troy Dargan will play after nursing injuries over the pre-season. Ethan Lowe (knee) and Mark Nicholls (shoulder) aren't available. Reigning Dally M Lock of the Year Cameron Murray has been switched to second-row, while Latrell Mitchell will don a Rabbitohs jumper for the first time.

Dragons: Euan Aitken, Eddie Blacker, Billy Brittain, Adam Clune, Jackson Ford, Tyson Frizell, Tyrell Fuimaono, Jacob Host, Ben Hunt, Tim Lafai, Blake Lawrie, Zac Lomax, Issac Luke, Trent Merrin, Corey Norman, Jordan Pereira, Mikaele Ravalawa, Jason Saab, Tristan Sailor, Tariq Sims, Paul Vaughan, Brayden Wiliame

James Graham will head into the season without any trial hitouts, with the veteran prop being rested again. Trent Merrin (back) missed last week's game but is set to pull on the Red V for the first time since 2015. Issac Luke and Tyrell Fuimaono are also backing up after featuring in the All Stars clash. Josh Kerr is sidelined with a knee injury.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Latrell Mitchell
    Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Zac Lomax
  • Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Dane Gagai
    Winger for Dragons is number 2 Jordan Pereira
  • Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 James Roberts
    Centre for Dragons is number 3 Euan Aitken
  • Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Braidon Burns
    Centre for Dragons is number 4 Timoteo Lafai
  • Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Campbell Graham
    Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
  • Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
    Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey Norman
  • Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam Reynolds
    Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt

Forwards

  • Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Tevita Tatola
    Prop for Dragons is number 8 Blake Lawrie
  • Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
    Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Issac Luke
  • Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Thomas Burgess
    Prop for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
  • 2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Jaydn Su'A
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Tyson Frizell
  • 2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Cameron Murray
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
  • Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Liam Knight
    Lock for Dragons is number 13 Jacob Host

Interchange

  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Patrick Mago
    Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Trent Merrin
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Hame Sele
    Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Jackson Ford
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Alex Johnston
    Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Tyrell Fuimaono
  • Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Keaon Koloamatangi
    Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Billy Brittain

Reserves

  • Reserve for Rabbitohs is number 18 Bryson Goodwin
    Reserve for Dragons is number 18 Brayden Wiliame
  • Reserve for Rabbitohs is number 19 Corey Allan
    Reserve for Dragons is number 19 Adam Clune
  • Reserve for Rabbitohs is number 20 Bayley Sironen
    Reserve for Dragons is number 20 Tristan Sailor
  • Reserve for Rabbitohs is number 21 Troy Dargan
    Reserve for Dragons is number 21 Eddie Blacker
  • Reserve for Rabbitohs is number 22 Blake Taaffe
    Reserve for Dragons is number 22 Jason Saab
  • Reserve for Rabbitohs is number 23 Jack Johns
    Reserve for Dragons is number 23 Luke Gale

The big question

Rabbitohs: Can Latrell Mitchell slot into the fullback spot in his first club game? The new recruit was limited in last week's All Stars clash in the No.1 jersey before shifting to the centres in the second half. With only 80 minutes left before round one, Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett will get a good look at Mitchell's potential and impact at in the custodian role when he takes the field.

Dragons: What sort of impact can Luke make? The loss of Cameron McInnes for at least the opening month of the 2020 season leaves the former Warrior as the main man at hooker. Luke was restricted to 28 minutes playing for the Maori All Stars but should get at least double that when he runs out in the Red V on Saturday.