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Witt named at halfback for Dragons' opener against Tigers

New halfback Michael Witt trains with the Dragons.
New halfback Michael Witt trains with the Dragons. Renee McKay

AFTER five years out of the NRL, new Dragons halfback Michael Witt says he feels like he's making his debut again.

Witt is set to resurrect his NRL career alongside five-eighth Gareth Widdop after being named in the No.7 jersey for Sunday's season opener against the Tigers.

There was much speculation as to who would partner star recruit Widdop in the halves, with former Raider Sam Williams seemingly the frontrunner after starting in last month's Charity Shield.

But the Dragons struggled in attack in the 38-20 loss to South Sydney, with coach Steve Price opting for the more experienced Witt to steer the side around the park for round one.

The former Newtown Lion has spent the past four years playing in the English Super League but Witt said he was confident he was ready for the challenge of NRL football again.

"I wouldn't have come back to the NRL if I didn't feel like I was up to it," he said.

"I've worked really hard in the pre-season and the coach has got confidence in me. I'm excited to get out there.

"I've played a bit with (Widdop) in the Charity Shield. It's been a long pre-season so we've done plenty of work together.

"The club's got high hopes for him. He's been really impressive so far. I'm excited to get out there with him."

St George Illawarra has a new-look roster this season following the departures of club stalwarts Jamie Soward, Matt Cooper, Michael Weyman and Nathan Fien.

There is also the added pressure of bettering last year's 14th-place finish but Witt believed the Dragons were up to the task.

"I think there's pressure on every side. That's part and parcel of playing in the NRL," he said.

"I don't think last year's result really matters. It's a clean slate. It's a new year, new season and we're all on equal points.

"We've got a lot of new faces here at the Dragons and I know the boys are all excited."

Topics:  footy picks footy tipping nrl st george illawara dragons


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