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Dragons coach Nathan Brown believes the Charity Shield is an essential component of the Dragons preparation for the 2006 season when they take on the Rabbitohs at Telstra Stadium on February 18 in their first match of the year.
The Dragons have vivid memories of their start to the 2005 season and their 30-6 loss in the annual clash last year.
"The Charity Shield is always a tough match and we will definitely be looking to turn the tables on last years result and start the season well," said Brown. "It is great opportunity for us to put into practice what we have been working on in the pre-season in front of a big crowd at Telstra Stadium, replicating the environment we will face in our first NRL Premiership match.
Captain Trent Barrett and new re-cruit Sam Isemonger are also looking forward to the clash and recognise the importance of the match. The first match of the year is something we all look forward too and it is a good indicator for where we are at," said Barrett. "We are lucky to always have such a tough match against the Rabbitohs and the atmosphere always adds that something extra".
"The Charity Shield is something that I have always watched, it is not your average trial game and it is something that I am very much looking forward to being involved with," added Isemonger.
The Charity Shield has always been an exciting and tough encounter for both Clubs and when the concept was established in 1982 the tradition began to support local charities and causes. In 2006 proceeds from the Charity Shield will be committed to the St George and Wollongong Public Hospitals in the Dragons' communities.
"There are many worthwhile charities in need of help however, along with South Sydney, we felt that it was important to stick with the traditions of the Charity Shield and support causes in our local communities," said Dragons Chief Executive Officer Peter Doust.
The Dragons team for the Charity Shield will be announced at the Dragons Media and Charity Shield Launch on Tuesday, February 15.
The Dragons second and final pre-season match is against the Roosters at Wollongong on Sunday, February 26.
2006 CHARITY SHIELD FACT SHEET
The major beneficiaries of the 2006 Charity Shield will be the St George Public Hospital, Wollongong Public Hospital, Sydney Children's Hospital and Humpty Dumpty Foundation.
Charity Shield Program: Saturday, February 18
Jersey Flegg (under 19): Dragons v Rabbitohs
Premier League: Dragons v Rabbitohs
FOX telecast preview program
FOX live broadcast, NRL trial, Dragons v Rabbitohs
Tickets are on sale for an exclusive priority period to Dragons Red V Members and Rabbitohs Members from 9am Thursday, January 19.
Tickets are on sale to the general public on Monday, January 23.
Tickets can be purchased from any Ticketek outlet, online at www.ticketek.com.au or by phone on 132 849.
Premier Reserved Seating - Adult $25; Children/Concession $15; Family (2 adults, 2 children under
General Admission - unreserved seating - Adult $20; Children/Concession $10; Family (2 adults, 2
children under 15) $45.
In the 22 Charity Shield matches contested since 1982, The Dragons have won 13 times; Rabbitohs 6; draws 3.
1982 - St George 9-7 at Redfern Oval.
1983 - St George 28-10 at Redfern Oval.
1984 - South Sydney 24-6 at Redfern Oval.
1985 - St George 10-8 at Redfern Oval.
1986 - St George 12-0 at Redfern Oval.
1987 - St George 28-14 at Redfern Oval.
1988 - South Sydney 30-6 at Redfern Oval.
1989 - South Sydney 20-16 at SFS.
1990 - Drawn 10-all at SFS.
1991 - Drawn 16-all at SFS.
1992 - South Sydney 21-20 at SFS.
1993 - St George 10-8 at SFS.
1994 - St George 14-11 at SFS.
1995 - St George 18-10 at SFS.
1996 - St George 30-6 at SFS.
1997 - St George 26-18 at SFS.
1998 - St George 14-4 at SFS.
1999 - South Sydney 16-14 at SFS.
2002 - Drawn 20-all at Aussie Stadium.
2003 - St George 28-10 at Aussie Stadium.
2004 - St George 34-8 at Aussie Stadium.
2005 - Souths 30-6 at Aussie Stadium.