Perth to get NRL game

South Sydney and the Bulldogs will take a first grade rugby league match to Western Australia next year for the first time since May, 1999.

The Rabbitohs confirmed that they would meet the `Dogs in a pre-season trial at either the WACA ground or Members Equity Stadium in Perth on February 25, 2005.

The last time a top grade rugby league match was played in Perth was five years ago when Melbourne thrashed Wests 62-6 at Lathlain Oval, with Matt Geyer scoring four tries and kicking nine goals for a personal haul of 34 points.

"We are really looking forward to working with the WARL, the Western Australian government and our WA Supporters' Group on this trial match," Souths chief executive Shane Richardson said.

"The Rabbitohs have a strong supporter base in the west and we are happy to be connecting with them on this project."

Wooden spooners South Sydney have scheduled the annual Charity Shield clash with St George Illawarra at Aussie Stadium on Saturday, February 19 next year.

Richardson said the Rabbitohs had cut down their pre-season trial matches from four this year to two in 2005.

"Playing too many trials opens the door for early injuries and we will be fielding our strongest squads, particularly in the Charity Shield," said Richardson.

"We will be going out there to bring the Charity Shield back to the Rabbitohs."