Sharks Nines preparations complete
A busy day before the NRL Nines kicks off tomorrow for the Sharks Nines squad included a captain-coach media session, a Fan Meet and Greet and a training session at the Sacred Heart College fields in Auckland.
Wade Graham, skipper for this weeks’ event joined Shane Flanagan early in the morning to meet with the media and discuss the Sharks chances at the Nines, before the pair dashed off to the teams' final training run.
Held at the Sacred Heart College in Auckland, a school renowned as a sporting powerhouse in New Zealand, the Sharks took advantage of the excellent facilities with a field run and gym session.
Flanagan was assisted by Steve Price as the pair worked on combinations and tactics ahead of the event which begins for the Sharks with a match against the Bulldogs at 3.35pm (1.35pm Sydney time) tomorrow.
The 18-man squad then took to the gym for a short and sharp strength session under the guidance of Andrew Gray, before enjoying a swim to cool down after working up a sweat in the warm New Zealand weather.
From there it was a quick lunch before the group attended a Fan Day Meet and Greet in the Aotea Square in downtown Auckland.
The players signed autographs, posed for photographs and interacted with the large crowd in attendance, with the Sharks kiwi contingent of Sosaia Feki, Gerard Beale, Fa'amanu Brown, Tinirau Arona and newcomer Saul Houma attracting plenty of interest.
Houma, at over 120kgs one of the biggest players in the tournament, is an Auckland local, with many family and friends expected in the stands tomorrow to cheer him and the Sharks on.
The rest of the afternoon then involved some rest and relaxation ahead of the kick off to the tournament tomorrow. All 18 players are fit however under tournament rules only 15 are allowed to take part in each game, with coaches Flanagan and Price to make their decision as to a team line up for game one sometime in the morning.
Following their game against the Bulldogs the Sharks play the Broncos at 7.30pm (5.30pm Sydney time), before tackling the Roosters in their final round robin clash on Sunday (1.40pm NZ, 11.40am Sydney).