De Belin ruled out of Dragons' trial
ST GEORGE Illawarra has overlooked forward Jack de Belin for a weekend trial match, citing an upper respiratory tract infection for his withdrawal.
There had been speculation de Belin would be named despite facing aggravated sexual assault charges.
The club though announced a 28-man squad on Tuesday night for a trial against Newcastle at Jubilee Oval on Saturday evening with de Belin missing.
A Dragons media statement read: "Jack de Belin was sent home from training on Monday by the club medical staff with a virus and has been ruled out of this weekend's game as a result."
Dragons coach Paul McGregor offered additional clarity, saying: "Jack is unlikely to train too much this week after being sent home from training by medical staff on Monday with an upper respiratory tract infection."
Star forwards James Graham and Tyson Frizell would also sit out the match because of "player workload management", the club said.
First-string Dragons players who will play in the trial include Gareth Widdop, Paul Vaughan, Tariq Sims, Euan Aitken, Matt Dufty, Ben Hunt, Tim Lafai, Cameron McInnes and new buy Corey Norman.
Despite being suspended until round three, new recruit Korbin Sims has been given a special NRL clearance to play Newcastle and in the annual Charity Shield at Mudgee on March 2.
"It has been a productive 14-week preseason and the players and coaching staff are really excited that the season is finally before us," said McGregor.
"Season 2019 is the beginning of something better for the Dragons and we are approaching the coming season in good shape.
"We have a squad of 28 for Saturday, all of whom will get an opportunity to play."
Full Dragons squad: Euan Aitken, Mitchell Allgood, Matt Dufty, Jai Field, Jackson Ford, Jacob Host, Ben Hunt, Josh Kerr, Tim Lafai, Jeremy Latimore, Blake Lawrie, Luciano Leilua, Zac Lomax, Joe Lovodua, Lachlan Maranta, Steven Marsters, Cameron McInnes, Darren Nicholls, Corey Norman, Jordan Pereira, Mikaele Ravalawa, Reece Robson, Tristan Sailor, Korbin Sims, Tariq Sims, Lachlan Timm, Paul Vaughan, Gareth Widdop
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