Coach Steve Price has given the biggest indication yet that Sam Williams will wear St George Illawarra’s No 7 jersey when the NRL season begins after naming him at halfback for the Charity Shield.
The 22-year-old will partner Gareth Widdop in the halves in the Dragons’ final preseason fixture with Michael Witt and Josh Drinkwater left out of the 19-man squad.
Gerard Beale will also get his first match against NRL level opposition in nearly 12 months after tearing his ACL early in the 2013 season.
He was named in the centres alongside off-season recruit Dylan Farrell, who will play his first match against his former Rabbitohs teammates.
Ben Creagh will skipper the team in his first preseason hitout of 2014 after being named alongside Jack de Belin in the front row.
Veteran prop Dan Hunt will make his return from off-season knee and shoulder surgery from the interchange bench.
Dragons Charity Shield squad: 1 Josh Dugan 2 Brett Morris 3 Gerard Beale 4 Dylan Farrell 5 Jason Nightingale 6 Gareth Widdop 7 Sam Williams 8 Jack de Belin 9 Mitch Rein 10 Ben Creagh (c) 11 Joel Thompson 12 Leeson Ah Mau 13 Trent Merrin. Interchange: 14 Kyle Stanley 15 Jack Stockwell 16 Mike Cooper 17 Bronson Harrison 18 Tyson Frizell 19 Dan Hunt.