ANTICIPATION is high for the opening round of the 2014 Illawarra and South Coast Junior Rugby League season this Saturday.
A near-record 354 teams will take part up and down the South Coast and Illawarra, from Batemans Bay in the south to Helensburgh in the north.
St George Illawarra community officer Adam Bezzina said apart from running clinics at schools, the Dragons have also taken part in the NRL's Tackling Bullying program, which relays the message of anti-bullying.
"Along with the NRL and ARL development officers we have visited 130 schools from Eden to Kogarah, passing on this important message to more than 30,000 children," Bezzina said.
"The National Rugby League is committed to stamping out bullying and we have been delighted with the response to date."
This year's South Coast Junior Rugby League will again have teams from 15 South Coast clubs and a further 14 Illawarra clubs. The South Coast clubs were joined by former Kiama Knights local junior, St George Illawarra Dragons star Brett Morris at Kiama Blowhole in the lead-up to the season kicking off.
If you are interested in playing rugby league, registrations can still be made at your nearest club, which you can find on the playNRL.com website.
The South Coast Group 7 clubs competing this year are Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles, Batemans Bay Tigers, Berry Magpies, Bomaderry Swamp Rats, Culburra Dolphins, Gerringong Lions, Jamberoo Superoos, Kiama Knights, Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs, Nowra Warriors, Shellharbour Stingrays, St Georges Basin Dragons, Sussex Inlet Panthers, Warilla-Lake South Gorillas and Tullimbar Titans.
Illawarra junior clubs are Berkeley Eagles, Collegians Collies Dogs, Corrimal Cougars, Dapto Canaries, Helensburgh Tigers, Huntley Rhinos, Northern Suburbs Bulldogs, Port Kembla Blacks, Shellharbour Sharks, Thirroul Butchers, Wests Illawarra Devils, Windang Pelicans, Woonona Bushrangers and Wollongong Titans.