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The Sharks have named their team for their opening match of the NRL Auckland Nines. In a game set to be played in slippery and damp conditions following consistent rain in Auckland which fell overnight and has continued for most of the morning, the Sharks play the Gold Coast Titans kicking off at Eden Park at 3.35pm (1.35pm Sydney time).


Coach Shane Flanagan has chosen what is arguably his strongest line-up for game one in a bid to kick start his 9’s campaign on a winning note.


Both Co-Captains in Luke Lewis and Chris Heighington have been named in the side, with Flanagan opting for experience, coupled with youth, with the likes of newcomers Josh Cleeland, Kurt Capewell and Matt McIlwrick included in the squad for what will be an extremely competitive contest against a solid-looking Titans outfit.


The Sharks will head into the opening match with a good level of confidence, however so too will a Titans side which includes Australian and NSW lock Greg Bird, Queensland Origin rep Chris McQueen and former Newcastle Knights half-back Tyrone Roberts.

Coach Flanagan allowed Sharks TV into the inner-sanctum when announcing his line-up for game one of the tournament, with the Sharks team to play the Titans listed below.

SHARKS NRL 9’s Game 1 v Titans Eden Park – 3.35pm (1.35pm Sydney Time)

1. Ben Barba

3. Gerard Beale

4. Ricky Leutele

5. Mitch Brown

6. Jack Bird

7. Chad Townsend

8. Matt Prior

9. Matt McIlwrick

10. Sam Tagataese

11. Luke Lewis (c)

13. Chris Heighington (c)

14. David Fifita

15. Kurt Capewell

17. Josh Cleeland

Not required game one – Jordan Drew, Joseph Paulo, Jayden Brailey, Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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