Bring on the Nines, that’s the message from the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles players.
The 2016 rugby league season will kick off tomorrow at Eden Park in Auckland with the third annual NRL Auckland Nines.
Sea Eagles Coach Trent Barrett says his men are ready to hit the field after a long, tough summer of hard training.
Barrett’s men finalised their preparations for the rich two day tournament with a Captain’s Run at the home ground of the Ellerslie Eagles Rugby League Club.
Ellerslie Eagles have a current connection to the Sea Eagles with respected and long serving Head Physiotherapist Andre Rickenbach starting his physio career at the Auckland club.
“The boys are very excited to be playing again,’’ Barrett said.
“Our training has been good and the Nines is a reward for some of the younger blokes in the team who have been training really well over the off-season.
“I’m looking forward to watching them playing. The boys can’t wait to get out on the field.
“It is just great that the footy is back with the Nines. We have been a bit sheltered from it as we are a bit out of town in terms of where we are staying.
“We haven’t seen too much of the hype around the Nines but once we get to Eden Park, our boys will be ready to go.”
Barrett nominated several players who he thinks will shine for the Sea Eagles at the Nines.
“(Hooker) Matt Parcell and (winger) Tom Trbojevic will definitely benefit with the extra open space,’’ Barrett said.
“In saying that, we need to work hard for each other and hang on to the ball. If we do that, then those two blokes will be able to show what they can do.
“I’ve been pleased with the outside backs, Halauafu Lavaka, Fabian Goodall and Tony Satini. They have trained really hard and this is a great opportunity for them to get some runs on the board.
“I’m confident we can turn in a really good showing over the two days. Let’s just hope for no injuries.”
Prop Jake Trbojevic will captain the Sea Eagles for the first time at the Nines. Manly will be hoping to improve on their record of just one win from their six matches at the Nines in the last two years.
Sea Eagles squad: 1 Jayden Hodges, 2. Matt Parcell, 3. Tim Moltzen, 4. Brayden Wiliame, 5. Jamie Buhrer, 6. Nathan Green, 7. Isaac John, 8. Tony Satini, 9. Tom Symonds, 10. Tom Trbojevic, 11. Brenton Lawrence, 12. Fabian Goodall, 13. Jorge Taufua, 14. Wof Lavaka, 15. Jake Trbojevic (c), 16. Feleti Mateo, 17. Blake Leary, 18. Jesse Ramien.
Manly's draw (Games Times are NZ times)
Saturday, Feb 6, games starts 12.30pm
2.45pm: v Brisbane (12.45pm NSW time)
6.15pm: v Warriors (4.15pm NSW time)
Sunday, February 7, starts 10.35am
12.15pm: v Bulldogs (10.15am NSW time)
Buy your Nines jersey here http://bit.ly/MWSEstore