INDEPENDENT NEWS

All-Star cast confirmed for Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines

Published: Tue 27 Jan 2015 05:22 PM
All-Star cast confirmed for the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines
Jan 31 – Feb 1 – Eden Park
Tickets at ticketek.co.nz
A “Who’s Who” of International Rugby League stars have now been confirmed for the second edition of the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park starting Saturday.
In total, 288 players representing all 16 clubs have been named to compete over two days, with the lure of more than NZ$2.5 million in prize money.
Already more than 41,000 tickets have been sold. The inaugural event was a 45,000 sell-out last year.
Here is a Top 10 list of players to watch over the 31-game extravaganza.
1: Shaun Johnson - Warriors
Halfback 24 years old - 83 first grade games – 13 tests for NZ
Career Highlights:
2014: Golden Boot – World’s Best player
2014: Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines – Tournament MVP
2014: Four Nations winner
2013: NRL All Stars
2: Daly Cherry-Evans - Sea Eagles
Halfback 25 years old - 104 first grade games - 5 State of Origin (QLD) - 11 tests
Incumbent Kangaroos halfback
2014: Daly M Halfback of the Year
2013: Clive Churchill Medallist
2011: World’s Best Halfback - Rugby League International Federation
2011: NRL Premiership winner
3: James Maloney – Roosters
Standoff 28 years old – 131 first grade games – 3 State of Origin (NSW)
2013: NRL Premiership winner
2011: Grand Finalist (Warriors)
4: Benji Marshall - Dragons
Standoff 29 years old - 216 first grade games - 27 tests for NZ
2011: Standoff of the Year - Rugby League International Federation
2010: Rugby League World Golden Boot Award – International footballer of the year
2010: Four Nations winner (captain)
2008: World Cup winner
2005: NRL Premiership winner (Tigers)
Former Kiwis Captain
5: Adam Reynolds – Rabbitohs
Halfback 24 years old - 79 first grade games
Career Highlights:
2014: NRL Premiership winner (scored a try and kicked five goals in the final)
2013: NRL All Stars
6: Kieran Foran - Sea Eagles
Standoff 24 years old - 128 first grade games - 19 tests for NZ
2014: Four Nations winner
2013: NRL All Stars
2011: NRL Premiership winner
Former Kiwis Captain
7: Josh Morris - Bulldogs
Centre 28 years old - 173 first grade games - 9 State of Origin (NSW) - 4 tests
Career Highlights:
2014: State of Origin winner
2013: World Cup winner
2012: Daly M Awards Centre of the Year
2010: NRL All Stars
2009: Four Nations winner
8: George Burgess – Rabbitohs
Prop 22 years old – 50 first grade games – 8 tests for England
2014: NRL Premiership winner
2013: Rookie of the Year - Rugby League International Federation
9: Ken Nagas - Raiders
Winger 41 years old - 142 first grade games - 5 State of Origin (NSW) – 5 tests
Career Highlights:
1994: Premiership winner – scored two tries in the Grand Final win
1997: Scorer of a Raiders’ record six tries against Halifax in the World Club Championship
1997: Played in the inaugural ANZAZ Test
10: John Folau - Eels
Centre 20 years old
Israel Folau’s younger brother who is expected to make his First Grade debut in 2015
190cm or 6”3’ and 100 kilos
Other Confirmed Names Include:
Nathan Friend (Warriors), Mitchell Pearce (Roosters), Frank Pritchard (Bulldogs, NZ and Samoa), Ben Matulino (Warriors and NZ ), Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys, Tonga and NZ), Sam Perrett (Bulldogs and NZ), Sisa Waqa (Raiders and Fiji), Bill Tupou (Raiders and Tonga), Jason Nightingale (Dragons and NZ), Jared Warea-Hargreaves (Roosters and NZ), Sam Tomkins (Warriors and England), Josh Dugan (Dragons), Dave Taylor (Titans, Queensland and Australia), Manu Vatuvei (Warriors and NZ) and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Roosters and NZ).
The Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines Statistics
31 games over two-days
16 NRL teams with 288 players competing
Teams will be made up of nine players across four pools of four
Each team has 18 players in its squad
NZ$2.6 million dollars in prize money
A crowd of more than 90,000 expected over the two days
Three Test series between the Kiwi Ferns and Jillaroos

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