Young guns tipped to light up the Nines
The Sea Eagles are tipped to take a young side across the ditch as they aim to improve on their early exit from last year’s tournament.
One man who will almost certainly be named in Geoff Toovey’s squad is exciting young talent Clinton Gutherson, who made the trip to Auckland last year.
Serving his apprenticeship under Brett Stewart, Gutherson is set to star at the Nines after an injury-free pre-season with Manly.
In his three NRL matches for the Sea Eagles last season, the 20-year-old local junior scored in every match, highlighting his scoring aptitude.
His fancy footwork and ability to break out of a tackle will play a big part in Manly’s bid to win the weekend-long tournament.
Look out for this man’s acceleration and skillful passing game on the fringes of Manly’s attack.
Having made the move across from Penrith at the end of the 2013 season, Satini made his NRL debut and soon after made his first international appearance for Tonga.
Captain of the Penrith team that won the Holden Cup in 2013, Satini has proved he has more than just a rugby league brain.
His leadership qualities could play a major role in steering Manly deep into the competition.
With Geoff Toovey expected to name his squad of 18 in the coming days, Cheyse Blair is likely make his second Nines appearance for the club.
The skillful outside back admitted he loved every moment of last year’s tournament and has put his hand up to play again this year.
“I’ve heard a few of the boys talk about it, who’s playing who’s not, but personally I don’t know if I am yet,” Blair said.
“It was a good experience last year and I hope I get picked so I can go play again.”
Blair scored a bonus try in Manly’s only win of last year’s Inaugural competition.
Michael Chee Kam
The Auckland-born back-rower will get the chance to showcase his full potential at the Nines, if selected.
Since arriving on the Northern Beaches, injury has plagued the 22-year-old, keeping him out of the game for lengthy periods.
However, after making his NRL debut in round 26 last season, Chee Kam is set to light up the Nines next weekend.
A consistent patch of footy in NSW Cup in the lead-up to that debut repaired his confidence.
An understudy to star five-eighth Kieran Foran, promising prospect Manaia Rudolph is expected to be named in Manly’s 18-man squad.
Rudolph’s fancy footwork and ability to step his way around opposition defenders makes him a real danger man.
Yet to make his NRL debut, Rudolph use next weekend’s Nines as a potential launching pad to kick-start his career.
The Nines tournament will suit the 21-year-old, with the extra space allowing him to show off his attacking ability.