Dragons will play English fixture

St George Illawarra are set to chase a unique trophy treble by honouring their Charity Shield and World Club Challenge commitments next year.Putting an end to weeks of uncertainty about the schedule, the club is expected to release the preseason dates by the end of this week.Last week, St George Illawarra boss Peter Doust told Fairfax the Dragons had "no obligation" to play in the World Club Challenge.But Wigan officials are adamant the game will go ahead and have pencilled in the match for Sunday, February 27, two weeks after their Super League title defence kicks off.English rugby league officials and the media were up in arms over Doust's comments that the club was not obligated to play in the World Club Challenge, fearing another massive blow to the code following their disastrous Four Nations campaign this year."This is another symptom of the lack of any effective international authority in rugby league," The Guardian newspaper columnist Andy Wilson said this week."... A definite yes from the mighty Dragons, with their famous red V and the equally iconic coach Wayne Bennett, would be a major relief."It is understood the Dragons have sought better financial conditions before committing to the Wigan game.The England trip means the Dragons are forced to travel more than 40,000km before playing a home game in their NRL premiership defence.With WIN Stadium's western grandstand in the midst of a complete redevelopment, the Dragons agreed to play their first four games away next season because of more construction work being carried out at Kogarah.The month away from home includes trips to the Gold Coast, New Zealand and Newcastle, as well as a battle with arch-rivals the Sharks. The annual Charity Shield match between the Dragons and South Sydney is to be played on February 13, the day after the NRL All Stars clash.NRL officials were concerned that the Charity Shield on the same weekend would take the gloss off the second annual clash between the Indigenous and NRL All Stars.But there was little room to move for the Dragons with Charity Shield opponents the Rabbitohs to play the Gold Coast Titans at Coffs Harbour on February 19, the same day the Dragons are due to fly to England.There were rumours the Coffs Harbour trial would be moved to make way for the Charity Shield to be played on the 19th and the Dragons leave the country the following day.However, a source yesterday told the Mercury the Titans-Rabbitohs trial would proceed as planned.St George Illawarra will also play another trial game in Perth against Melbourne on February 5.A Dragons spokesperson would not confirm the dates for their schedule, however did say that the club was close to finalising their preseason games.

Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide