The Sharks have named a squad featuring Grand Final heroes Luke Lewis, Wade Graham and Jack Bird, along with a number of inexperienced youngsters for the Downer NRL Auckland Nines.
Graham will lead a strong Sharks group at the tournament which kicks off at Eden Park on February 4, with the team looking to go one better than their runners-up performance of 2015.
Along with Lewis and Bird, Graham will have fellow Grand Final winning teammates Ricky Leutele, Gerard Beale, Chris Heighington and Matt Prior by his side, with Kurt Capewell and Joseph Paulo, two integral members of the Sharks NRL squad in 2016, also making the trip across the ditch next weekend.
Newcomer Manaia Cherrington and youngsters Jayden Walker, Jesse Ramien, Malakai Houma, Kyle Flanagan and Will Kennedy will also be a part of the travelling party. Ramien, Flanagan and Kennedy are still NYC eligible however the trio have been training with the full time NRL squad during the summer.
The Sharks are set to open the tournament on Saturday at 12 noon with a game against the Gold Coast Titans. Also in their pool are the Penrith Panthers and Canterbury Bulldogs.
On the same weekend the Sharks will be sending a strong group to play a trial match against the Brisbane Broncos in Redcliffe.
Paul Gallen, James Maloney, Andrew Fifita and Valentine Holmes will be amongst the players heading up to Brisbane for the teams only 13-on-13 trial before playing the World Club Challenge in the UK on February 19.
The Sharks 9’s squad is listed below.
Sharks 9’s squad