Greg Inglis, Jonathan Thurston and Jarryd Hayne might be missing, but the next generation of stars will get a chance to make their name at the Auckland Nines.
NRL clubs finalised their team lists for the inaugural tournament on Tuesday, with most choosing to rest the majority of their World Cup and marquee stars.
Canterbury coach Des Hasler has joined Canberra’s Ricky Stuart in snubbing the event electing instead to send assistants Jim Dymock and Kelly Egan to oversee the tournament.
Clubs such as Wests Tigers have embraced the opportunity to blood their best young talent, with the joint-venture outfit naming four rookies - Mitchell Moses, Kurtis Rowe, Manaia Cherrington and Delouise Hoeter.
For outside back Hoeter and back-up hooker Cherrington, it caps a week in which they are close to securing contract extensions. Coach Mick Potter described fullback Rowe as possessing ‘‘exceptional speed’’, a trait the quartet share.
However, most interest will be on Moses, earmarked as a long-term halves partner to boom No.7 Luke Brooks. Given he is yet to play an NRL game, the Tigers are mindful of shielding Moses from unwarranted publicity. However, Potter believes the Nines provides an ideal opportunity for him and the other youngsters to showcase their wares.
‘‘He’s been a good junior for the club and shown plenty of potential over the last couple of years,’’ Potter said. ‘‘He suffered a pretty bad leg injury and came back well from that, it probably took him 18 months to get back.’’
''I don’t want to put too much pressure on him but he’s a kid who knows the game. He’s still learning some of what you need to do to become an [NRL] player. It’s not so much to curb that enthusiasm but temper the plays to go for the percentage. He’ll see something and he’ll want to play it. You can get away with overplaying it in juniors but you need to temper it [in first grade].
‘‘His enthusiasm does get the better of him but that means he’s got good vision and a good mind … he’s quick, he’s elusive, a good pass and kicking game.’’
With NRL teams only required to name one of their top-five contracted players, the tournament will be without a plethora of stars. However, Potter said the experience would be invaluable for his younger brigade, who will push for NRL berths this year.
‘‘With the space being bigger and the guys not being as mature as most NRL players, it’s an opportunity to use them in this version,’’ he said. ‘‘Don’t get me wrong, we still want to win and how much game time they get depends on how it pans out. It’s a good concept for these guys and gives them experience, it’s another step in their careers to move forward.’’
Warriors utility Dominique Peyroux can still take his place at the tournament despite facing a one-game ban. Peyroux was charged with a grade two dangerous contact - unnecessary head/neck pressure - in the Warriors trial loss to Titans. New NRL rules mean that any player charged in a trial will serve their suspension in the competition proper.
I also believe we will. What a great drinking weekend , 1st game starts 10:30am and the last I think 5:30pm.
I have to hint to the missus to go out with her friends lol
Sure is, our problem is we have titans in our pool as well who have a strong squad.
Posted using RoarFEED 2013