Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will field a competitive side for the Downer NRL Auckland Nines according to Coach Trent Barrett.
The tournament, worth NZ $2.6 million dollars plus in prize money, will feature all 16 NRL teams at Eden Park on February 6 and 7.
The Sea Eagles have drawn the toughest pool with matches against Canterbury Bulldogs, the Warriors, and the Brisbane Broncos.
Barrett will soon settle on his final playing squad for the Nines.
“I have a fair idea of who I am going to take. We want to try and win everything we go in,’’ Barrett said.
“The Nines is something I am mindful of in terms of the length of the premiership season and who I want to take and don’t want to take.
“At this stage, I don’t think I will be risking some of the more experienced players but we will field a competitive side.
“The Nines are a bit of a reward for some of the younger players. It will also be good to give some of the forwards a run.
“We are certainly not going to go there and roll over. It is a bit of a catch 22 as I don’t want any injuries out of the Nines. I want to have everyone healthy (for selection) for round one.”
The NRL Auckland Nines event received a huge boost today with leading engineering and infrastructure group Downer taking over as the 2016 Nines naming rights sponsor.
Duco Events said the new partnership would go a long way to ensuring next month’s event is a major success.
Downer agreed to take over the top sponsorship role following the end of Duco’s partnership with electronics retailer, Dick Smith.
Downer NRL Auckland Nines Facts:
- 2 day tickets from $69
- Children half price (most categories)
- All 16 NRL Clubs together in Auckland
- 288 + players
- Nearly NZ$2.6 million dollars prize money
- Club star players contractually guaranteed to play
- Family friendly
Pre-order your Manly Nines jersey here