All you need to know ahead of the historic clash between our St Helens and the St George Illawarra Dragons!
THE BATTLE OF THE RED-V
It will be a historic clash on Saturday, as for the first time ever St Helens will be taking on Australian side St George Illawarra Dragons as part of the NRL’s Pre-Season Challenge.
Our Saints have earned their way to taking part in this conception and next week’s mammoth World Club Challenge on the back of four title winning seasons in Betfred Super League. So not only are Paul Wellen’s team fighting for club glory, they are representing the whole elite European competiton of rugby league Down Under.
WHEN, WHERE AND HOW TO WATCH?
The match takes place at the WIN Stadium in Wollongong, Australia, with kick-off at 8:05pm AEDT / 9:05am GMT.
Fans who have travelled over to watch the game can only get tickets from the NRL’s ticketing platform.
Supporters back in the UK can cheer on the team by watching live on Sky Sports Mix from 9am.
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE GAME?
Saints will be covering the match in full across our live Match Centre, where you can find out the team news, follow live game updates and catch up on the stories of the game.
Wellens has brought a strong 26-man travelling party to Australia for the fixtures against the Dragons and the Panthers.
Speaking to Saints TV following the Captain’s Run ahead of facing St George Illawarra, he stated all 26 men are in line for game time.
WHAT KIT WILL SAINTS BE WEARING?
As the visiting side coming to the Dragons’ home, St Helens will be wearing for the first time their brand-new 2023 Away Kit!
In our milestone 150th year, the Saints’ strip is in our club’s traditional colours of sky blue and navy, with a classic deep V design along with some finer details, including our 150 year crest.
Ahead of its first outing, our 2023 Away Shirt has been fully restocked in all sizes too!
NRL PRE-SEASON CHALLENGE: EXPLAINED
The all-new competition ahead of the NRL’s season starting sees all 17 NRL clubs, plus St Helens, compete over two weeks in two matches, with $100,000 being awarded to the winner.
But how do you win? By getting the most points as part of the Pre-Season Challenge points system.
Points are awarded for wins and draws, but also for tries, line-breaks and offloads. Here’s a breakdown of the scoring system:
- Win – 12 points
- Draw – 6 points
- Loss – 0 points
- 5+ tries – 1 point
- 5+ line breaks – 1 point
- 10+ offloads – 1 point
In the event of two teams being tied on points at the end of Week Two, a tiebreaker system is also implemented.
WHO WILL BE THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE?
Liam Kennedy will be the referee for Saturday’s fixture. He will be assisted by Dave Munro as the touch judge, and Ashley Klein as the senior review official. Furthermore, The Bunker (Video Referee) will be in use at the game.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT GAME RULES?
As normal, games are played over 80 minutes but teams in the Pre-Season Challenge can field as many as 28 players in Week One and 26 players in Week Two. However, it is different for the Saints’ game in the World Club Challenge next week.
Both St Helens and Penrith Panthers will have match day squads of 17 men, with an 18th activated in the event of a team losing two or more players due to a failed Head Injury Assessment.
Both Saints and Penrith will have 10 interchanges, and should the game be tied after 80 minutes it will go to golden point to determine a winner of the World Club Challenge.