St George Illawarra Dragons centre Tim Lafai believes a lot of talent will on display when he takes part in the NRL Auckland Nines competition taking place at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday, February 6-Sunday, February 7.
The Toa Samoa international is well aware of the unorthodox playing structures needed to employed during the two-day tournament and is expecting it to bring out the best in the players.
“I’m honoured to have been named in the Nines squad as I heard it’s an awesome weekend to be a part of,” said Lafai.
“It’s sure to bring out the best in the talent that has been named to take part in the tournament and it’ll be fun.”
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