Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will field a mixture of experience and exciting young talent at the NRL Nines tournament in Perth.
The Sea Eagles team comprises of 11 players with NRL experience and will be captained by prop Martin Taupau.
All 16 clubs will compete for the $1 million prize-money on offer this Friday and Saturday with a bonus $1 million available if a club can win the NRL Nines and NRL Telstra Premiership this season.
The Sea Eagles will be looking to go one better than their previous best results of reaching the quarter-finals in 2016-17 when the tournament was held in Auckland.
Manly have been drawn in the same pool as the Nth Qld Cowboys, Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos.
Sea Eagles Nines team
1 Luke Metcalf
2 Edwin Ipape
3 Zach Dockar-Clay
4 Brendan Elliot
5 Reuben Garrick
6 Lachlan Croker
7 Cade Cust
8 Tevita Funa
9 Toafofoa Sipley
10 Abbas Miski
11 Corey Waddell
12 Martin Taupau (C)
13 Haumole Olakau’atu
14 Sean Keppie
15 Taniela Paseka
16 Zac Saddler
17 Reed Izzard
18 Dane Aukafolau
With only nine players per side, the extra wide open spaces will be a good chance for some of the younger players to show off their skills.
Luke Metcalf is one player to watch. Blessed with great speed and footwork, the talented half is keen to show his skills at the Nines after suffering a season ending knee injury after playing just two games for Blacktown Workers last year.
Edwin Ipape is one player to keep an eye out for. The five-eighth spent last year with Wynum Manly Seagulls and has played three Test matches for Papua New Guinea.
Tevita Funa was a member of the premiership winning Sea Eagles NYC team in 2017 and is in his second season with the full-time squad. A winger/centre with plenty of speed, Funa has played 17 matches for Blacktown Workers in the Canterbury Cup over the past two seasons.
A strong running prop, Zac Saddler joined the Sea Eagles in June last year from the Canterbury Bulldogs. He made a solid impression for Manly in the Jersey Flegg competition.
Reed Izzard will be looking to impress in his first appearance in Manly colours after joining the club from Penrith. The son of former Panthers first grade player Craig, Reed can cover five-eighth, back-row and hooker.
Dane Aukafolau is a talented centre who played 22 games for Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles last season. He has trained well with the NRL squad in the pre-season and is another who gets his chance to shine on the bigger stage.
Where: HBF Park, Perth
When: Friday, Feb 14 – Sat, Feb 15
Times 4pm-8.30pm Friday, 11am to 7.30pm Saturday
Pool 1: Panthers, Warriors, Roosters, Knights
Pool 2: Bulldogs, Dragons, Eels, Sharks
Pool 3: Raiders, Wests Tigers, Titans, Rabbitohs
Pool 4: Cowboys, Storm, Broncos, Sea Eagles
Friday: vs Melbourne Storm 7.25pm (WAST), 10.25pm (AEST)
Saturday: Nth Qld Cowboys 1.45pm (WAST), 4.45pm (AEST)
Finals begin 2.40pm (WAST), 5.40pm (AEST)
NRL Nines Rules
· Nine players per side, nine minutes per half
· Unlimited interchange
· Five tackles per set, rather than six
· Sin bins: three minutes rather than 10
· Conversions are drop kicks, with a 25-second shot clock
· 20/40 kicks introduced, as well as 40/20s
· Five points, rather than four, awarded for a try scored in the Bonus Zone between the goal posts
· Drawn matches decided by a golden try
TV broadcast information
All games live on NRL Live Pass, Fox League and Kayo (Australia) and Sky NZ (New Zealand)
Two-day passes start from $55 for club members and $60 for general public.
Friday tickets are from $20 for club members or $25 for general public, while Saturday tickets are from $35 for club members or $40 for general public.
Fans can also purchase into an Active Zone, a party area at the end of the stadium featuring a DJ, beach deck, merchandise and other benefits.