VICTORIA'S first representative gridiron team to take the field in several years will include two Bendigo Dragons players.
Cornerback Johnny Rogerson and defensive end Zac Caldwell have been selected in the Victorian Eagles team to play in Dubai this April.
The pair were among the standouts at two open tryout days in January, under new state coach Richie Garraway.
As the Dragons ready for their first pre-season training session this Sunday, Caldwell said he and teammate Rogerson were proud to get to don the Eagles jersey for the first time.
"The Victorian league isn't affiliated with Gridiron Australia and all the other states are, so we've been unable to field a team in the Australian championships," he said.
"So we've just started up again and we have some exhibition matches in Dubai, which will be pretty fun.
"I'm looking forward to playing football with a bunch of new blokes, it's pretty exciting getting to see a whole different range of footballers and different ways of playing.
"You can learn a lot from different coaches. And of course, playing alongside Johnny is pretty cool."
Despite the absence of a Victorian team, Caldwell is no stranger to representative football.
Last year was chosen to play for the South Australia Sharks against Western Australia and New South Wales after spending the Dragons' off-season with Port Adelaide Spartans in the SA Gridiron competition.
He also represented the Australian Outbacks against American Samoa and Tahiti in July.
The 28-year-old is one of the most committed gridiron players in the country.
With the South Australian season starting up at the conclusion of the Victorian season, he again lined up with the Spartans in 2016.
They finished the season third place behind eventual champions Adelaide University Hogs.
Caldwell said he and Rogerson were heavily focused on lifting the Dragons to a Gridiron Victoria Division II title in 2017.
The Dragons have bowed out in successive preliminary finals, despite sitting in the top two sides for the bulk of both seasons.
"We've come close every year, hopefully this (year) is it," he said.
Meanwhile, pre-season training for the Dragons starts this Sunday at 10am on the astro turf at Bendigo South East College.
Players are advised to bring exercise clothing, football boots, runners and water.
To register interest in playing, visit the club's Facebook page.