A teenage Reuben Garrick only played a few minutes for the Dragons at the 2016 NRL Nines but he still looks back very fondly on the "festive" experience.
Coming off a stellar rookie year with Manly, the lightning-quick winger is poised to shine when the NRL Nines returns from a two-season hiatus at Perth's HBF Park on February 14-15.
Garrick remembers the buzz around Eden Park when the tournament was held in Auckland and he expects the jovial vibes to transfer to Western Australia.
"It was definitely that festive, carnival sort of atmosphere in the crowd. It looked like they were having a ball," Garrick told NRL.com.
"Everyone in the crowd were all wearing costumes, everyone had signs and eskies. It definitely had that festive atmosphere to it.
"Even for us as players to watch other teams play – every team sort of comes along with a different tactic – that was good to look at too.
"I'm not sure what [coach] Des [Hasler] has got in store for us leading into this Nines but I'm sure all of us want to win it."
The 22-year-old labelled the chance to don the green and gold at the recent World Cup 9s "the biggest achievement in my football career" and said he would take lessons back to Manly.
"I loved playing every minute I did and just to be in that system there – you're getting coached by Mal [Meninga] with some of the best players in Australia – was pretty cool," Garrick said.
"Hopefully we can model a few games off some of the victories there."
Garrick has been to Perth once – to take on the West Coast Pirates in an SG Ball under 18s game – and he can't wait to see the city again.
"I played on one of the stadiums; it's beautiful over there," he said.
"All the beaches and everything [are great]. The sunsets – here it's over the mountains but there it's on the ocean, which is pretty cool.
"Hopefully there's some good footy on show and we can bring that carnival atmosphere."