St George Illawarra Dragons prop Jack de Belin is the first player to be named in the team taking part in the NRL Auckland Nines competition taking place at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday, February 6-Sunday, February 7.
The Cootamundra Bulldogs junior missed-out on selection for the previous edition of the two-day tournament through injury but is happy to be a part of what is always a great and action-packed weekend.
“I am stoked to have been selected as I was part of the inaugural competition which was such a good weekend,” said de Belin.
“It will be fun getting to play in such a great crowd which will include hopefully a few Red V Members and I’m excited by the atmosphere.
“It’s good to have this type of trial coming-up as any professional footballer will tell you what a slog pre-season training is so anytime you can see the finish line you start to perk-up a bit.”
The Dragons have been included in the Piha Pool alongside the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Gold Coast Titans and Canberra Raiders in the two-day tournament to be staged on Saturday, February 6 and Sunday, February 7.
All 16 NRL teams will enter the tournament which carries prize money of more than $AU2.4 million.
The teams, which have nine players, are split into the four pools and play nine minute halves.
The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage of the tournament before the two top teams play in the final.
The full squads for the pre-season fixtures are yet to be finalised but all players, provided they are fit, will either be competing against the Wynnum-Manly Seagulls at Redlands or taking part in the NRL Auckland Nines as both events are on the same weekend.
Each day the Dragons will reveal an additional member of the travelling squads for either the Wynnum-Manly Seagulls or NRL Auckland Nines team, alternating the teams, via dragons.com.au and our respective social media channels.
Wynnum-Manly Seagulls Squad:
Gareth Widdop (c)
NRL Nines Squad:
Jack de Belin